Tomb pilaster

Pottery standing pillar surmounted by a bearded, large-headed figure seated in a squatting position. Figure is molded in relief on three sides. The hands are held at chest level and the legs extend down the sides of the upper shaft. The shaft is roughly square and decorated on three sides with stamped designs of dragons and geometric patterns.

Historical period(s)
Han dynasty, 1st century BCE-1st century CE
Medium
Earthenware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 133.2 x 21.3 x 21.9 cm (52 7/16 x 8 3/8 x 8 5/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2006.5
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Sculpture
Type

Tomb pilaster

Keywords
China, earthenware, funerary, Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

?-1965
Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY [1]

1965-1977
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, NY, purchased from Frank Caro Chinese Art, New York, NY [2]

1977-2006
The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, NY, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY [3]

From 2006
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, NY

Notes:

[1] See invoice from Frank Caro from March 12, 1965, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The object was donated by Dr. Arthur M. Sackler to the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in December 1977, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987
Frank Caro Chinese Art 1962-1980
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation founded 1965

Description

Pottery standing pillar surmounted by a bearded, large-headed figure seated in a squatting position. Figure is molded in relief on three sides. The hands are held at chest level and the legs extend down the sides of the upper shaft. The shaft is roughly square and decorated on three sides with stamped designs of dragons and geometric patterns.

Label

Gray earthenware columns of this type supported the lintels that spanned funerary chambers of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E. -220 C.E.). The geometric and stylized animal designs stamped onto the surface of the column are repeated several times. In contrast to the impressed designs is the large sculpted figure that forms the capital of the column. Figures of this type evidently served a protective function.

Published References
  • Three Thousand Years of the Ceramic Art and Ancient Sculpture of China from the Sackler Collections. Exh. cat. New York. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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