Pair of Longquan porcelain funerary urns. The vases have pale greyish green glaze. Vase A has a tiger and a small dog modelled on the upper section, a bird on the lid, and overlapping lotus petals on the lower half. Vase B has a dragon and a flaming pearl modelled on the upper section, a bird on the lid, and overlapping lotus petals on the lower half.
- Made in: Longquan (area)
- (Asia,China,Zhejiang (province),Longquan Area)
- Height: 252 millimetres
Published PDF date : Southern Song 12th-13thCRoom 95 label text:
Pair of funerary urns with applied animals
These funerary urns are decorated with two ‘animals of the four directions’, called 'siling 四靈' in Chinese. The White Tiger of the West is pursuing a dog and the Green Dragon of the East is chasing a flaming pearl. The birds on the covers may allude to the Red Bird of the South; but the symbol of the north, a tortoise with a snake, is not present. In China, artists decorated coffins and tombs with these creatures from the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) onwards. These jars stored provisions for the afterlife such as grain and are part of local southern burial practice.
Stoneware, porcelain-type, with carved and applied decoration and celadon glaze
Longquan ware 龍泉窯
Longquan region, Zhejiang province 浙江省, 龍泉地區
Southern Song dynasty, AD1127–1279
Stacey Pierson 1997 records: From the collection of Shoji Kato, Kyoto.
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Object reference number: RRC38622
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