Period: Middle Jomon period
Coiled and cord-impressed earthenware
Dimensions: 13 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches (34.9 x 26.7 cm)
Acquired through the George and Mary Rockwell Fund
The name Jomon (literally "cord pattern") is given to the period from about 10,500 to 400 B.C. in Japan, and derives from the cord-impressions found on the earthenware pottery produced throughout this long period. Jomon potters hand-built their wares using the coil method, and they decorated the surface by pressing strands of knotted cord against the wet clay to give a distinctive texture to the surface. For thousands of years the people of the Jomon culture produced simple cooking vessels using this technique for decoration, but around 2500 B.C. the pottery underwent a startling change in style. The Johnson Museum vessel belongs to this period, generally referred to as Middle Jomon. The flattened bottom of this vessel suggests its use as a storage container, with a columnar lower part joined to a dramatic, wide-flaring mouth that gives a sense of expansive freedom to the form of the vessel. Cord impressions continue to be used for texturing the body, but now clay strips are applied in a zigzag manner around the neck and along the rim. The clay strips decorating the neck meet as pendants at four points. The two handles at the rim are strong sculptural forms in the shape of trefoils with three perforated loops. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.