Wide cylindrical footless vessel with slightly bowed side, small rim and very large mouth covered with a textured matte glaze in shades of light and dark browns
Ann Arbor-based Markham Pottery began when Herman C. Markham, a traveling salesman and a devoted grower of roses, found that he could not get an adequate supply of vases that kept the water cool enough to keep the blooms of his roses fresh. In the mid-1880s, he began working with the clay in his yard to create utilitarian vases whose understated beauty enhanced, rather than competed, with his roses. By 1905, Markham was joined in the enterprise by his son Kenneth. The pottery that the Markhams developed consisted of a low-fired ceramic body based on classical forms decorated with a distinctive webbing of low relief clay that is part of the mold. Usually fired with matte glazes in earthen colors and stains, the delicacy of Markham ware made their products quite popular.
In 1913, the Markhams moved their pottery to National City, California, near San Diego. There they could take advantage of workspace provided for them at the plant of the California China Products Company. The numbers of works produced by Markham Pottery was not as great as some potteries; the company ceased production in 1921.
Rubbing of limestone slab carved bas-relief with six registers. The lower register depicts a chariot procession above fish-inhabited waters. The central three registers depict figures carrying out funerary rites. The top register shows a winged creature with a human face flanked by two writhing dragons and other animals, including two rabbits and a nine-tailed fox.
Rubbing of a carved limestone slab that was originally part of a memorial hall or tomb. It portrays the vertical ascent of the soul of the deceased from earth toward the “Happy Homeland” or heavenly abode of the Queen Mother of the West.
On the lower register of the carving, the soul of the tomb occupant rides in a chariot procession. The fish-inhabited waters indicate his earthly surroundings. In the central three registers the family and friends of the deceased are shown carrying out the proper funerary rites that will insure the success of his journey. The Queen Mother herself, shown as a winged creature with a human face, dominates the top row. She is flanked by two writhing dragons and other heavenly immortals, including two rabbits, who reside on the moon and are shown pounding rice cakes, and an auspicious nine-tailed fox, associated with the sun.
The Queen Mother of the West was the subject of a very popular cult during the Eastern Han Dynasty, when concerns about immortality reached a new and feverish pitch.