Pilgrim Bottle Vase
The pilgrim flask form was widespread in both time and place and was produced in a variety of media, including Venetian glass, Central Asian leather,
and Chinese ceramics. Some have suggested that the round, moon-shaped
form originated in the Near East, but no matter what the origin, the various
examples bear witness to travel of both people and technologies throughout the diverse cultural landscape of the Silk Route.
This pilgrim bottle vase, boldly decorated with
pomegranates, peaches, and other Chinese symbols of prosperity, longevity,
and integrity, manifests the development of the once foreign cloisonnee technique during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). The technique, which involves
constructing a design in metal and filling it with multicolored enamel, was
highly developed in the Byzantine Empire in the tenth and eleventh centuries
and traveled eastward during the Mongol period.
Cloisonné enamel on copper alloy
early 17th century
Late Ming Dynasty
This item is not on view
Gift of Samuel P. Avery
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pilgrim Bottle Vase, early 17th century. Cloisonné enamel on copper alloy, 10 1/4 x 6 11/16 in. (26 x 17 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Samuel P. Avery, 09.657. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 09.657_side1_PS2.jpg)
side, 09.657_side1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Pilgrim flask with short foot, globular body and tall, narrow neck. Copper carved with cloisonné enamel. The foot and mouth as well as the handle are rimmed in gilt. Turquoise blue ground with decoration of peaches and pomegranates in red, dark blue, green, and yellow enamels. Loop handle on each side of the neck. One of four pieces in the Avery collection to bear a Jingtai mark, here shown in a gilded panel on the neck just below the mouth rim. According to the catalogue of the Avery collection of Ancient Chinese Cloisonné, Brooklyn 1912, the mark-'Ching-t'ai, 1450-1456, might be apocryphal, in which case the piece might have been made in the K'ang Hsi period, 1662-1722. Although the form of such flasks is found in ceramics of the 15th and 18th centuries, the technique of enameling with tiny spiral wires scattered on a blue background is peculiar to the 17th century. The decorative motifs, the pomegranate, peach, rock, fungus [sic], orchid and narcissus together symbolize prosperity, longevity, and integrity.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.