Painted pottery with four circles of abstract cross
馬家窯马厂型十字紋四大圈彩陶罐 

Majiayao culture, Machang type, ca. 2300-1800 BCE
40 cm high

Description: This large pained jar is the most typical pottery from the late Majiayao phase, Machang Period. The characteristics are:  an elongated body in compassion with the earlier Majiayao jar when the width and height are almost equal; a coarse and barely burnished surface; rough brushwork on the patterns with little care; the colours that are more towards purplish black or dark brown. Above all, the most signatured design is the four large centre symmetric circle patterns on the top of the shoulder. Also the zigzags that are typical for Banshan period disappear. There are many different patterns inside the “Machang four circles”, such as nets, dots, spirals, small circles. For this object, the motif inside each circle is unclear, probably a cross. Machang pottery are considered more as daily ware, which were also found at burial sites.

Provenance: Old American collection

Reference: For a similar figure, see Lot 588, Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Sotheby’s New York, 20 March 2007

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