Two-Story Tower with a Moat Maker: Unknown

2nd century c.e.

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

Produced in large numbers during the Han dynasty, clay models of towers and other buildings were created for inclusion in tombs. They belong to a category known as spirit goods (mingqi), which were made specifically for burials and intended to serve the deceased in the afterlife. Tall towers and moats such as this example replicated structures found on wealthy estates, which defined property borders and helped provide protection to landowners.


Earthenware with light green lead-fluxed glaze


29 15/16 × 15 in. (76 × 38.1 cm)

Credit Line

The Schloss Collection, Gift of Simone Schloss

Accession Number



Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 C.E.)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Simone Schloss; The Schloss Collection, NY
  • Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 125, pl. 117.
  • Janet Baker, Seeking Immortality: Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, exh. cat. (Santa Ana, Calif.: Bowers Museum, 1996), no. 3.
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