Ewer with Cover
On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
Gourds and melons were popular motifs in East Asian design because their many seeds were associated with fertility and abundance. Both of these vessels have handles that reference the twisting vines of gourd and melon plants, with small tendril-like loops at the top where a string or chain would have attached the handle to a ceramic lid. Both original lids are now missing; the melon-shaped ewer has a wood replacement. Both ewers are decorated with lotus flowers, symbols of spiritual transcendence because lotuses rise above their lowly origin (pond water) to bloom in glorious color.
Stoneware with celadon glaze, wood
Height: 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm)
Diameter at mouth: 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm)
Diameter at base: 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
width with handle and spout: 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm) (show scale)
The Peggy N. and Roger G. Gerry Collection
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Ewer with Cover, 12th century. Stoneware with celadon glaze, wood, Height: 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The Peggy N. and Roger G. Gerry Collection, 2004.28.242a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2004.28.242a-b.jpg)
overall, 2004.28.242a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Melon-shaped ewer with curved spout and handle, decorated with incised foliate and floral design. The incised lines at the lower end of the spout revealing a lotus leaf covering the surface. A small loop is attached to the top of the grooved handle, originally connecting the lid with a chain or string. Current wooden lid is a later replacement. The ewer is evenly covered by glassy, crackled celadon glaze. Glaze stops right at the bottom. Base is slightly indented and partially glazed. Foot ring is unglazed and attached with sand.
(From original catalogue card)
This celadon ewer has a melon-shaped body decorated with incised lotus spray designs. These particular designs were stylized and were extensively used for celadon bottles, jars and ewers in the twelfth century. Similarly, the melon shape was also widely used for other celadon objects such as bottles and maebyeong vases made in the same period. While the lid has disappeared, the serene beauty and color of the glaze and the elaborate design make this ewer a great work of art.
From "Korean Art Collection in the Brooklyn Museum" catalogue.
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