Handle in the Form of an Animal Head, c. 1000–300 B.C.
Earthenware 12 cm high (5 in. high) Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President’s Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, 2010.294.  Art Institute of Chicago.


Only a handful of animals are represented in Jomon-period art. This piece is in the shape of the head of an animal; it looks like a horse from one side and a sheep from the other. The walls of the indentations are carefully modeled, not simply pressed into the clay with a stick. Judging by the curved back surface, it seems likely that this head came off of a vessel and was perhaps a handle that sat on the rim (with the curved surface at the back forming part of the interior wall of a jar).

Handle in the Form of an Animal Head, c. 1000–300 B.C.

Earthenware
12 cm high (5 in. high)

Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President’s Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, 2010.294.  Art Institute of Chicago.

Only a handful of animals are represented in Jomon-period art. This piece is in the shape of the head of an animal; it looks like a horse from one side and a sheep from the other. The walls of the indentations are carefully modeled, not simply pressed into the clay with a stick. Judging by the curved back surface, it seems likely that this head came off of a vessel and was perhaps a handle that sat on the rim (with the curved surface at the back forming part of the interior wall of a jar).

(Source: artic.edu)

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