Funerary urns of this type have been found in numerous tombs of the Three Kingdoms (the Wu) and Western Jin dynasties in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. For a discussion of the chronology of these pieces, see the exhibition catalogue by Y. Mino and K.R. Tsiang, Ice and Green Clouds: Traditions of Chinese Celadons, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1986, p. 74, no. 24. The authors suggest that the design of these vessels may derive from the five-spouted burial urns of the late Han dynasty. The present example is distinctive owing to the cow figures and crescent in relief encircling the vessel. While animal, human, or mythical figures and abstract motifs commonly adorn the surfaces of these jars, this cow pattern appears to be unique among published examples. Compare those illustrated in Porcelain of the Jin and Tang Dynasties: The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 35; and in Zhongguo gudaishi cankao tulu (A Pictorial Reference of Chinese Ancient History), Shanghai, 1990, p. 71.