University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Object Number: 49-14-10
Current Location: Collections storage
Culture:Chinese
Provenience: China
Period: Shang Dynasty
Date Made: Shang Dynasty
Early Date: 1700
Late Date: 1100
Section:Asian
Materials:Clay
Iconography:Owl
Credit Line:Bequest of Julia Morgan through brother Hugh Morgan, 1949

Description

Black ware. The owl-head cover fits over the neck of the jar. Head, feathers, etc. deeply carved. 1 foot damaged. The owl seems to have been the totem of the Shang rulers. It was severely rejected by the succeeding (Zhou) Dynasty which considered it an emblem of evil-- as it has been ever since. It is a familiar form for ritual bronzes of the Shang.


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