Ancient Han Dynasty Pottery Pig, China (2029BKE) $395


H: 2.5”  W: 4.5”  D: 2.375” | FREE SHIPPING!

This glazed pig mingqi was one of many items made for a tomb to placate the spirit of the deceased and assure the soul’s access to the things enjoyed when alive. This animal mingqi confirms the importance of pigs as a food source and of raising livestock in Han China. An alert animal whose stocky body is typical, it’s dark lead green glaze and damp tomb created a chemical reaction over centuries making it a lustrous, iridescent green impossible to copy that is highly valued in China and by collectors. In very good condition, it has expected glaze losses, minor abrasions and cracks due to its age and long tomb burial.


Mingqi are often ancient earthenware pottery items usually made using a bivalve mould and covered with a lead glaze that fired to a dark green. The lead in the glaze often combined with tomb dampness for centuries creating a chemical reaction changing its coloring into a lustrous and iridescent green seen here. Han mingqi were ancestral offerings for tombs to appease and provide for ancestors and assure the fulfillment of filial piety, ancestor worship and their Confucian duties. Xunzi, a follower of Confucius wrote “…one adorns the dead as though they were still living, and sends them to the grave with forms symbolic of life.” Mingqi, also known as “fearsome artifacts,” “objects for the deceased,” or “brilliant artifacts,” were a form of ancestor worship and were offerings dedicated at funeral ceremonies. They included a variety of items: dishes, utensils, servants, attendants, livestock images, chars, a bed, architectural pieces and much more, as the number, variety, size and quality of pieces increased with the family’s wealth and importance as did the size of the burial space. Pigs were an important domestic animal, a crucial food source, a major object of commerce bought, sold or exchanged for a variety of products or services and their significance is confirmed by their frequent presence in tombs.

Additional information

Dimensions 6 × 6 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Ancient, Han Dynasty


Han Dynasty (206BCE – 220 CE)

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 2.5” W: 4.5” D: 2.375”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 6.35cm W: 11.34cm D: 6.03cm



Reference Number



Very good, losses from wear and use, no restorations/repairs

Shipping Box Size