A Sichuan burnished black pottery jar, Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220)

A Sichuan burnished black pottery jar, Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220)© Christie's Image 2003

Each side carved with two spirals that seem to issue from the base of the broad strap handles carved with conjoined circular medallions, with a finely hatchured band on the faceted neck below the rim formed by an angular spout on either side - 7¼in. (18.5cm.) across handles - Lot 191. Estimate $2,000 - $3,000Price Realized $1,793 

Provenance: Carter Fine Art, London 

NotesA similar jar in the British Musuem is illustrated by S. J. Vainker, Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, New York, 1991, p. 43, fig. 30, where the author notes that this type of jar is known as Lifan, after the area of Sichuan province in which they have been found, and that the shape occured as early as the Neolithic cultures of Machang (c. 3000-2500 BC) and Xindian (c. 1500 BC). The amphorae of this type that have been published are dated Warring States or Han dynasty. 

CHRISTIE'S. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 September 2003, New York, Rockefeller Plaza