Yangshao culture, which flourished in northern and central China, is arguably the best-known civilisation among Chinese Neolithic cultures, and Banpo (near present-day Xi'an, Shaanxi) is probably the most well-preserved archaeological site in the culture.
This boat-shaped flask, carefully decorated with 'pricking' or 'notching' on both sides of the exterior, is an outstanding example of Banpo pottery. The pricked design would have required the potter's superb attention to detail and most skilled execution. While other 'pricked' examples from the Yangshao culture are known, there are comparatively fewer 'pricked' pottery vessels than painted or other undecorated monochrome vessels of the same period.
Compare a Banpo boat-form painted vessel excavated from Baoji, Shaanxi, illustrated in Sekai tōji zenshū [Ceramic Art of the World], vol. 10, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 3. See also a Banpo red pottery plain boat-form flask, but without handles, sold in these rooms, 25th November 2022, lot 817.