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
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.
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 (in collaboration with National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, , CUR.2004.28.242a-b_view01_Heon-Kang_photo_NRICH_edited.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph (in collaboration with National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, , 2005
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any additional information you might have.
I am a ceramics student and was wondering if celadon was an important, even unique glaze in ancient Asian Art and why so. And to what extent is the use of celadon within contemporary ceramics bound to celadon's history?
Celadon glaze was especially valued for the cloud-like, pale blue-green color that could be achieved. Korean potters were internationally recognized as having mastered the technique.
I don't know much about contemporary use of celadon for practical vessels, but I do know that some contemporary artists use it. In that case it is usually a reference to the history and historical applications of the material.
Yes, thanks so much!
What is celadon?
Celadon is a blue-green glaze, often used on stoneware, a kind of ceramic. Celadons are named due to the greenish-blue color of their glaze. Their color can vary in tone from grayish to greenish depending on the composition of the clay. The color of celadon is achieved by placing a green-colored glaze over a gray clay body and the reaction of iron oxide when the vessel is fired in a reduction atmosphere.