Iridescent green-glazed duck
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- Eastern Han dynasty, 25 - 220 A.D.
- Glazed pottery
- 16.5 cm
- 23 cm
See for similar glazed pottery ducks:
Treasures from the Shanghai Museum: 6000 years of Chinese Art, Shanghai 1983, cat. no. 54.
The Carles B. Hoyt Collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, vol. I, Boston 1964, cat. no. 27.
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The duck is standing with its wings folded, his tail turned up, and head held forward. The bird is well and realistically modeled. The red pottery is covered with a green glaze, now forming a silvery iridescence. The feet are molded together to form a hollow base.
This duck was part of the burial rituals in the Han Dynasty. High-ranking persons were buried with various everyday objects; it was believed that life after death was a continuation of the present life, and therefore the deceased was provided with all the objects, named mingqi or spirit goods, necessary to continue living after death. Thus, terracotta animals, horses and cattle were given, as well as food, clothing, pottery and valuables. The tombs were designed architecturally so that, together with the objects, they provided both a comfortable final resting place as well as a safe journey for the deceased into the afterlife. Ancestor worshipping was very important, for the welfare of the deceased and for the welfare of the entire family.