Skip to product information
1 of 12

AUA Oriental Art

Jar with Painted Decoration of "Frog" Pattern, Neolithic Period

Jar with Painted Decoration of "Frog" Pattern, Neolithic Period

Regular price $2,990.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,990.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Large and small two-handled jars, pitchers, bowls, and beakers are the most common forms produced during the Machang phase of the Majiayao (or Gansu Yangshao) culture. The decorative motifs on Machang-period wares are primarily geometric, featuring curvilinear patterns, cross-hatching, and a variety of shapes such as lozenges, triangles, circles, and squares in endless combinations. One of the most distinctive images in the Machang vocabulary is the zoomorphic figure found in the center of these jars. This figure features a long torso with four limbs bent at the center, topped with a small head. Feathers or similar tufting are present at the end of the upper limbs and at the joints of all four appendages. The interpretation of these enigmatic motifs varies: some suggest they are abstract representations of natural creatures like frogs, while others propose that they symbolize either the costume worn by a shaman or the transformation he undergoes during rituals.

Period: Neolithic period, Presumably from Majiayao culture (ca. 3300–2050 BCE)
Medium : Earthenware with pigment
Type : Jar
Size : 35cm (Height) x 34cm(Diameter)
Condition : Good
Provenance : Acquired in late 1990s from Hongkong
Reference :
1) The MET -  Accession Number: 1992.165.8

2) Sotheby's London 8 December 2022 - The Personal Collection of the late Sir Joseph Hotung - Lot 109
(Price realised : 3,528 GBP / Type : Closely related)

* Neolithic pottery

Neolithic pottery from China, dating approximately between 10,000 BCE to 2,000 BCE, is a significant cultural artifact that reflects the rich culture and advanced technology of the region during this era. The pottery found across various regions of China displays unique styles and techniques, indicating a diverse and sophisticated cultural landscape.

During the Neolithic period, pottery in China was predominantly used for agricultural purposes, including storage containers, cooking vessels, and dining utensils. It was common for Neolithic Chinese cultures to decorate pottery with intricate patterns or colors, often reflecting the religious beliefs or life philosophies of the time. For instance, pottery from the Hemudu culture in the Yangtze River basin is known for its black and red patterns, while the Yangshao culture in the Yellow River basin is characterized by its fine linear designs.

The shapes and sizes of Neolithic Chinese pottery varied greatly, influenced by the climate, geography, and natural resources of each region. Some areas prioritized large and heavy storage containers, while others required smaller and more portable bowls for convenience.

Archaeological excavations of this pottery have been crucial in understanding the transition to settled life, the advancement of agricultural techniques, and the complexity of early societies in China. The production techniques and stylistic decorations of the pottery evolved over time, and these variations provide invaluable data for studying the development and cultural exchanges of ancient Chinese societies.


View full details