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Ewer (Zhihu)

Asian Art

As suggested by this ewer decorated with peony scrolls and plantain leaves, East-West cross-pollination of motifs and styles often fueled the production of luxury objects for foreign markets. While the plant motifs are distinctly Chinese in conception, the scrolling pattern was also common in Islamic art, and the shape is modeled on Near Eastern metal prototypes. After the Mongols conquered Song-ruled China from the north in 1279, taking control of porcelain kilns at Jingdezhen, artisans there attempted to produce underglaze red wares in addition to the blue and white; however, the copper-based red was difficult to control, and slight changes in kiln temperature or atmosphere often produced the gray color seen on this vessel.

MEDIUM Porcelain with copper-red underglaze design
  • Place Made: Jiangxi, China
  • DATES 1279-1368
    DYNASTY Yuan Dynasty (possibly early Ming Dynasty)
    PERIOD Yuan dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 11 7/16 x 8 1/4 in. (29 x 21 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 52.132
    CREDIT LINE The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Ewer (Zhihu), 1279-1368. Porcelain with copper-red underglaze design, 11 7/16 x 8 1/4 in. (29 x 21 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins, 52.132. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 52.132_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Lipped mouth; constricted neck; gall-bladder shaped belly; circular foot; long spout; neck and spout has a linked cloud-shaped piece; curved handle; cover has a small knob; below handle is pattern of 3 coins. Copper-red underglaze painting: 1. fret-scroll (hui wen); 2. banana leaf pattern; 3. fret-scroll (hui wen); 4. interlocking camellia; 5. cloud head scrolls on shoulders; 6. interlocking peony flowers; 7. changing lotus petals pattern; 8. curving grass pattern. Besides unglazed lower sections of circular foot, slight blue-green clear glaze on entire vessel. Daily used ware. Condition: Basically intact. Repaired spout.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (90%)
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