White Pottery Jar

Accession No. R000167
Period Shang Dynasty
Material Pottery
Findspot Tomb No. 331 Hsiao-t'un, Yin-xu Site
Geographic Location Hsiao-t'un village, Anyang, Honan province, China
Dimension H. 19.0 cm; Diam. of rim 10.6 cm


Excavated Shang white pottery vessels are rare. Intact pieces are even more rare and exclusively unearthed from the large and medium sized tombs of Phase I and Phase II of the Yin-hsu period. This vessel looks like a lei, but is smaller in size. It has a round lid with mushroom-shaped knob on the top. The surface of the vessel is mainly decorated with grooves and cloud-and-thunder patterns; the knob is also decorated with whorls and the lid with curled dragons. The character “五wu (five)” appears both on the inner side of the lid and on the ring foot.