Yunnan vase with zodiac animals patterns
Song Dynasty (960 – 1279)
H. 23 cm or 9 in / d. 17 cm or 6 ¾ in
This charming terracotta vase comes from the southwestern part of China, in the Yunnan region. It seems to have been made between the 10th and 13th centuries A.D., during the Song dynasty. Two registers of lotus petals cover the body of the piece, six small ones at the base and twelve larger ones on the body, in which various decorative and symbolic elements are represented. Indeed, animal and anthropomorphic figures adorn this vase. This particular decoration has often been found on Buddhist offering jars from Yunnan. It refers to the twelve animals of the zodiac that would have presented themselves to Buddha before his final extinction. Thus, this work is most certainly from a Buddhist holy place where it kept offerings.
The work is in good structural condition, and its decoration is also well preserved. In addition, no structural anomalies or areas of restoration were observed.