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Late Three Kingdoms period (220-280) to early Western Jin dynasty (265-316) Zhejiang or Jiangsu province, China
Funerary jar [Funerary jar, topped by applique design of architectural and features and figures] second half 3rd century Place made: Zhejiang or Jiangsu province, China
Materials & Technique: sculptures, ceramics, stoneware; proto-celadon glaze
Dimensions: 49.0 h x 31.0 w x 31.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of TT Tsui, Hong Kong, through the National Gallery of Australia Foundation 1995
Accession No: NGA 95.594

This funerary container or spirit jar is covered with figures and forms which, in their entirety, fulfil the needs of the deceased in the next life. The neck features a swarm of birds attracted to the grain placed in the small pots attached to the vessel. Both birds and grains are symbols of abundance. The architectural structures provide shelter for domestic animals, and a living space for the human figures, possibly the Daoist Immortals whom the deceased will meet in the next world.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label