Ceramic: earthenware with green glaze
Gift of the Schloss Collection
Period: Eastern Han Dynasty
Dimensions: Overall: 34 5/8 × 19 × 17 1/4 in. (87.9 × 48.3 × 43.8 cm)
Published References v
Mundy, James, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: Vassar College, The History and Collection (New York: Prestel Publishing, 2007), p. 23 repr.
Lewis, Candace J., Into the Afterlife: Han and Six Dynasties Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, (Poughkeepsie: Vassar College Art Gallery, 1990) p. 67, fig.24.
Towers such as these formed part of the tomb goods of affluent landholders. They reflect the contemporary conditions in the Chinese countryside during troubled times, when landholders were forced to defend their holdings with private armies and fortifications. This particular tower, excavated like so many others throughout central China possibly in the province of Shaanxi, is not decorated with soldiers and bowmen, as many others are, but with what seem to be nobles or officials seated on the parapets and in front of the entry. Its dignity suggests a purpose more ceremonial than defensive. The highly decorated architecture of the tower with its apricot leaf acroteria on the roof, together with the latticework and crossmark incisions, call atten- tion to the special rank and significance of the building. Asian art was not a collecting interest at Vassar until the second decade of the twentieth cen- tury, and the curriculum has grown significantly in this area during the past thirty years. This has encouraged the growth of the art collection outside the traditional focus on the Western intellectual tradition.