Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25-220)
Height 144 cm, Frontal Width 43 cm, Depth 47 cm
Acquired from a collection in Jiunuzhong Cun, Huaiyang County, Henan Province, 1954
This model tower consists of three stories with square chambers and four-sided eaves. There is a porch on the front of the lowest level with a concealed room behind the porch. There is a V-shaped flight of steps in front of the doorway, with a figure of a guard before the door, down the steps from whom there are four figures of women wearing long robes with wide sleeves. Above the broad eaves on the second and third stories there are two square pillars supporting flat platforms, with a narrow couch in the centre of both platforms. Each of the four corners of the platforms feature pillars in the shape of naked human figures. There are also cloud-shaped bolsters and stylised blocks and brackets under the eaves of each level. The interlocking of the bolsters underneath the side eaves is of particular importance, as this is likely a prototype of the later qima bolster. The apex of the roof is decorated with a phoenix with a seal ribbon held in its beak.
The human-shaped blocks and brackets, and the pillars in the shape of naked bodies feature childlike double topknots with hair combs. The naked figure-shaped pillars have two further striking features: prominent breasts and male genitalia, reflecting Han dynasty religious concepts From the inclusion of the narrow couches. In the concealed room and upper chambers, it is clear that this was a multifunctional structure. This type of object was by no means commonplace during the Han.