Bu vessel - ROM2005_3704_1


Bu vessel

Medium:Hand-made, wheel-finished earthenware with natural glaze
Geography: Reportedly from Anyang Yinxu, Henan province, China
Date: 13th-1st half of 11th century BC
Period: Shang Dynasty
21.5 x 26.5 cm
Object number: 960.238.35
Credit Line: The Dr. James M. Menzies Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China
DescriptionThis bu jar, reportedly collected from Xiaotun, Henan province, is a good example of Anyang hard-earthenware with traces of glazing. Made by hand with wheel-finished neck and applied foot, the bu jar is characterized by a wide mouth with straight collar neck and squared rim, a large, rounded body with maximum diameter near the midpoint, and a high, spreading foot with rounded base. The exterior is plain except for two pairs of incised lines that encircle the body just below the sharp angle into the shoulder and serve to connect two sets of paired horizontal strap handles. Below each set of handles a hole was pierced through the foot just below the junction with the body. Walls of extreme thinness and impressions made with matting or coarse textile on the rounded base are two common features of the hard-earthenware found at Anyang. The mottled surface of the jar is the outcome of an uneven burn that resulted in a dark brown glazed surface on one side and some greenish areas with less glaze on the other. The glaze was not deliberately applied, but probably resulted inadvertently when ash fell on the hot clay of the body during firing. The accidental production of a pleasant shiny surface may well have provided the necessary impetus for the development of true glaze.
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