Garlic-shaped Pot with "a Waterfowl Holding a Fish in Mouth" Pattern


Unearthed at the Beishouling Site in Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, the garlic-shaped pot is unarguably one of the refined products of the Yangshao Culture. The pot is 21cm high, and the diameters in the mouth, belly, and base are respectively 1.5cm, 20.7cm, and 8.4cm. Its mouth is in the shape of a flower bud painted with black flower patterns. On its shoulder and belly is a painting of a waterfowl holding a fish in its mouth, which is profound in meaning. Though the lines of the picture are concise, the postures of the bird and the fish are vivid and lively. The waterfowl is holding the tail of a big fish firmly in its mouth, while the fish twisting its body and painfully seeking for escape. The fish has a slender body, square head and spotted patterns on its head and back, with eyes wide open and gills plumped up. The precious pot is now collected in the Museum of Chinese History.

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