Henan Museum
Lidded Pottery Pot with Polychrome Painting of Four Spirits
Edit: Acf
Time: 2024-01-15 11:11:28
Period: Western Han dynasty (206 B.C-25 A.D)
Provenance: Unearthed from a Han tomb at Shaogou, Luoyang, 1953
Measurements: L.47.6 cm, Dia.18.3 cm


With a contracted mouth, a long neck, and a bulging belly, the vessel has a pair of models of taotie-shaped Pushou (loop handle) on opposing sides, a high ring foot, and a domed cover. In general, the vessel features smooth lines, a robust and sturdy form. In terms of embellishments, elaborate and gorgeous patterns were applied with the motifs of tiger and cloud as the thematic ones. The modelling of the patterns and the characteristics of layout are apparently in accord with the patterns of four spirits prevailed in Han dynasty.


Though being a burial good, the vessel was also a practical container in daily life. Of the potteries unearthed from the Han tomb at Shaogou of Luoyang, some contained grains and kernels of the plant when discovered, when the present piece was discovered, husks of grain were also found inside, and most of them were even intact.