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Goat pen

206 BCE-220 CE


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Han dynasty 206 BCE - 220 CE → China
    206 BCE-220 CE
    Media category
    Materials used
    earthenware with green lead glaze
    12.5 x 19.4 x 21.9 cm
    Gift of Mr Sydney Cooper 1962
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Realistic models including watchtowers, barnyards, and grain mills are a significant category of ‘mingqi’ funerary ware and reveal much about the architecture and the military and agricultural life of the time. This model of a goat pen with an elevated fodder storage shed depicts an everyday scene of nearly 2,000 years ago. The pen is typical of low-fired Han funerary ceramics. Its green lead-silicate glaze that has taken on a silvery iridescence from burial in the ground. Lead glazing came into use in China around the second half of the first century BCE, and is thought to have been intended to imitate the patina of old bronze. The toxicity of lead meant such glazes were reserved for tomb furnishings rather than household wares.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

    • Mr V V W Fretwell, Mr L G Harrison, Ivan McMeekin and J. Hepburn Myrtle (Compilators), Chinese ceramics, Sydney, 1965, 18. cat.no. 7

    • Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. cat.no. XIII. See 'Further Information' for text.