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Handle in the Form of an Animal Head

A work made of earthenware.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of earthenware.


c. 1000–300 B.C.



About this artwork

Only a handful of animals are represented in Jômon 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).


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Arts of Asia


Handle in the Form of an Animal Head


Japan (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1000 BCE–300 BCE




H.: 12 cm (5 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President's Exhibition and Acquisition Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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