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Asian Art

Two-Story Tower with a Moat

2nd century c.e.

Earthenware with light green lead-fluxed glaze

29 15/16 × 15 in. (76 × 38.1 cm)
The Schloss Collection, Gift of Simone Schloss
2004.123.1a-c
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.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 C.E.)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Simone Schloss; The Schloss Collection, NY

Bibliography: 

Janet Baker, Seeking Immortality: Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, exh. cat. (Santa Ana, Calif.: Bowers Museum, 1996), no. 3.

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 125, pl. 117.

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 such records is ongoing.