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funerary urn

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.204

  • Description

    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.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 12thC-13thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 252 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Southern Song 12th-13thCRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 204

    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, AD1127–1279PDF 204

    青釉貼花龍虎尊(一對)


    此對龍虎尊器身分飾中國傳統四靈中的二靈裝飾,即西方白虎追犬及東方青龍戲珠。器蓋上的鳥可能象徵南方朱雀,但北方玄武,即龜及蛇的形象卻沒有體現。中國在漢代之前(西元前206-西元220年),棺槨及墓葬經常以這些靈獸作為裝飾。此類器物用於存儲糧食,如穀物等,以供逝者在陰間所用。這是一種具有南方地區風格的葬俗。


    炻器,属廣義瓷器,刻花,貼花,青釉
    龍泉窯
    浙江省龍泉地區
    南宋,1127-1279年

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 39 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2001 p. 65, no. 60 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1997 p.20, no.204 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.48, no.27 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989b p.57, no.44 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1977 pp 17-18, no.36 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 pp 44-45, no.18 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G95/dc52/s4

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Stacey Pierson 1997 records: From the collection of Shoji Kato, Kyoto.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.204


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Object reference number: RRC38622

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