Ming Dynasty Yunnan Ware Lidded Small Jar “Wǔgǔ Guàn” | China, 15-16CSOLD OUT
A small jar with lid fired in a Jianshui kiln in Yunnan. This jar is one of “five offerings” the types of grave goods used in Azhaliism (Vajrayana Buddhist religion practised among the Bai people), and is called the Wǔgǔ guàn, which means five grains jar.
In Yunnan during the Ming dynasty, cremation became widespread along with Azhaliism. The five offerings, which consist of an incense burner, a pair of vases, and a pair of five grains jar, are put on fire with the dead body, unlike the grave goods that have been used in burial until then.
The wavy lines and swirls drawn on the sides are probably the patterns of the clouds that represent the heavenly world. These abstract patterns can be traced back to the Han dynasty and convey the history of continuous extravagant funerals in the area.
Those with a lid left are extremely rare. There are no notable defects other than the minor chips and flakings. It was likened to be a tea caddy and kept safe into a pouch and a paulownia box.
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