Funerary jar with White Tiger of the West


Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Longquan ware
H x W: 33.8 x 13.3 cm (13 5/16 x 5 1/4 in)
China, Zhejiang Province, Longquan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Funerary jar

bird, China, funerary, green glaze, Longquan ware, Guan type, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), stoneware, tiger, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Warren E. Cox 1895-1977


This funerary jar, which presumably held grain, is decorated with cosmological symbols. The kittenish tiger coiling around the jar's elongated neck represents the White Tiger of the West; it would have been paired with another jar bearing the Green Dragon of the East. Other figures include two people and a dog. The Chinese character for sun appears on a disk above a cloud on the neck. The lid is embellished with clouds and a bird, perhaps a crane, a symbol of immortality. The crackled glaze, somewhat uneven in color, is an example of Guan-type glaze made at certain kilns in Longquan.

Published References
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. p. 139ff, pl. 37.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 47.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum