103- Han Sheep Pen Green-Glazed

Han Sheep Pen Green-Glazed
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  • 103- Han Sheep Pen Green-Glazed
  • Object type: Ceramic Sculpture Animal Other
  • Period: Western Han (221 BCE  24 AD)
  • Height, Width, Depth in cm: 8x22x22

Much of our understanding of the way of life of the people of the Han dynasty comes from ceramic tomb figures such as this one and from carvings in relief on stones and paintings on bricks. Paintings in general from this period are quite rare. Written work describing the life of everyday people, apart from some poetry, is virtually non-existent. (The first emperor of Qin famously burned most of the books he could find.) Earthenware models such as this sheep pen accurately portrayed common Han structures (farm houses, mills, ponds, courtyard houses, guard towers etc.) along with figures representing the full spectrum of court officials, entertainers, soldiers, workers and numerous animals (sheep, pigs, chickens, goats, dogs, horses, bears, owls, tigers etc.). This particular green-glazed piece shows five rams being held in a circular-walled enclosure with one opening. Such enclosed pens models were commonly found in tombs. Examples similar to this are found in many museum collections (e.g. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art).

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