This incredibly ancient Chinese jar, dates from the Neolithic Maijayao period , Machang Phase (2350-2050 BC). The formidable Meiyintang collection has several similar jars, as do the British Museum (London), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco) and National Museum of Asian Art (Washington).
The Meiyintang 玫茵堂 Collection, of over 2000 pieces of Chinese ceramics, was assembled by the Manila-born brothers Gilbert and Stephen Zuellig. Through their business activities in the Far East they developed an interest in Chinese ceramics, collecting systematically from the 1950’s onwards. Gilbert focussed on early pottery, stoneware and ceramics from Neolithic period to the Tang Dynasty. His brother Stephan collected later porcelains from the Yuan, Ming & Qing Dynasties. In 1994 the collection gained international recognition, due to a series of exhibitions and publication of the expansive illustrated catalogues by Regina Krahl. In 2011- 2012, much of the Yuan, Ming and Qing porcelains were sold at auction. But Gilbert’s collection of over 1,600 early pieces, was transferred to the Meiyintang Foundation and given on long term loan to the Rietberg Museum (Zurich) in 2003.
Isn’t it incredible how something so old can feel so modern? The simple lines and geometric patterns are a pleasure to look at. Early Chinese ceramics are often a fabulous counterpart to contemporary art as well as being an interesting talking point in your home.
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