Chinese Neolithic Banshan Phase Terracotta Jar

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Chinese Neolithic Banshan Phase Terracotta Jar

Neolithic vessel is painted with bold warm black-brown brush strokes on terracotta. The geometric patterns represent fish nets. The lower section sat in the earth, thus left undecorated. Slender dashes within the larger round nets represent fish. Ancient vessels of this type display designs that feel expressionistic and like Pop Art at the same time.

Banshan phase of Yangshao culture, c 2700-2300. Frequently found in Gansu, Guanghe Province. The clay possibly from the Yellow River basin south of Mongolia and not far from Sichuan.

14” H x 15” from lug handle to lug handle.

3rd Millennium BC.

Mouth has a few shallow chips. There is a divot to the mid-section, center, typically found on these wares. Whether this was an intentional design aspect or not, this divot is shallow and roughly 5/8" diameter. 

Provenance: Puchased in Hong Kong in the 1980s by an American academic on sabbatical and in his collection ever since, til now.

Several of these large vessels have surfaced over the last few years, most recently at Bonham's auction house.