A pair of small abstract pottery ram and ewe, Qijia culture, 2050-1700 B.C. 齊家文化 公母羊陶器一對
Property from the Ronald W. Longsdorf Collection
A pair of small abstract pottery ram and ewe,
Qijia culture, 2050-1700 B.C.
Ronald W. Longsdorf 收藏
ram l. 16.5 cm; ewe l. 15.5 cm
Both are in good overall condition. The head and neck of the ram with protruding ears appear to have been lightly retouched at areas. Some minor chips/flakes (largest approx. 0.6cm) to the edges of both rams, and occasional minor age cracks, as expected of their type and age.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Ronald W. Longsdorf, The Pottery Age: An Appreciation of Neolithic Ceramics from China, Circa 7000 BC - Circa 1000 BC, Hong Kong, 2020, pls 78 and 79.
Ronald W. Longsdorf, 《陶誌：中國新石器時代陶器 約西元前7000年 – 前1000年》，香港，2020年，圖版78及79
The pair of thinly potted vessels, which, at first glance, appear to depict a ram and a ewe, are in fact far from purely representational. Each modelled with an almost bird-like body supported on four sturdy legs, the vessels encapsulate not only the potter's ability to skilfully and seamlessly combine the body of one creature with the head of another but also the superb imagination of the Qijia culture.
See, for example, another pair of pottery animal-shaped vessels, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, vol. 3, 2006, pl. 10, where one vessel is depicted with the head of a bird and the other with a head detailed with ears and a long nose.
The practice of combining various elements of an animal with another began in ancient times and remained popular especially in Chinese mythology, and such mythical creatures were highly featured in the likes of ancient texts such as the The Classic of Mountains and Seas. For an example of a half-snake creature painted on a clay flask from the Yangshao culture, see Zehou Li and Lizeng Gong, The Path of Beauty: A Study of Chinese Aesthetics, Beijing, 1999, p. 21.