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About This Artwork
Hen, 6th century
35 x 35.8 x 15 cm (13 3/4 x 14 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.)
Purchased with Funds Provided by the Weston Foundation; President's Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, 2010.296
This hen was modeled somewhat simply, but very effectively. Comb marks along her body suggest feathers, and the features of her face and comb were made with simple tools or by hand. The hen’s body is actually one slab of clay that was folded to form the tail section. Many other haniwa in the shape of birds—such as waterfowl, swans, and hens—with similar simple execution but great sensitivity and expressiveness have been excavated, largely in the Kanto region (which includes the greater Tokyo area). This piece was unearthed in Tochigi prefecture and was once in the well-known private collection of Okura Hisashi (1892–1960).
— Permanent collection label
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