Collections: Asian Art: Ewer with Phoenix Head

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54.7_detail_03_PS9.jpg 54.7_detail_02_PS9.jpg 54.7_detail_06_PS9.jpg 54.7_detail_05_PS9.jpg 54.7_side_left_PS9.jpg 54.7_side_right_PS9.jpg 54.7_detail_04_PS9.jpg 54.7_detail_01_PS9.jpg 54.7_SL1.jpg CUR.54.7_bottom_bw.jpg CUR.54.7_detail_bw.jpg

Ewer with Phoenix Head

The Museum's Phoenix-Headed Ewer is a superb example of qingbai, or "blue-white" high-fire ceramic. The head is wonderfully carved and modeled, and truly ferocious in appearance. The earliest ceramic phoenix-headed ewers, or vaselike pitchers, date from the Tang Dynasty (A.D.618-907) and were inspired by gold and silver ewers with phoenix heads imported from Sassanian Persia. Maritime trade between China and Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the islands of modern Indonesia greatly expanded during the early Song Dynasty in the late tenth century, and many examples of qingbai wares such as this Ewer were exported there.

  • Medium: Qingbai ware, stoneware, translucent glaze
  • Place Made: China
  • Dates: ca. 10th century
  • Dynasty: Tang Dynasty to Song Dynasty
  • Dimensions: height: 14 9/16 in. (37 cm); diameter: 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)  (show scale)
  • Collections:Asian Art
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Accession Number: 54.7
  • Credit Line: Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • Caption: Ewer with Phoenix Head, ca. 10th century. Qingbai ware, stoneware, translucent glaze, height: 14 9/16 in. (37 cm); diameter: 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund, 54.7. Creative Commons-BY
  • Image: detail, 54.7_detail_03_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2019
  • Catalogue Description: Large ewer with phoenix head. Stoneware, when high fired turns a light grey-buff color. Translucent glaze with tints of pale blue-green and sometimes pale buff. Wheel made pot with molded phoenix head, handle and spout applied. Details in phoenix head incised. Three incised circles on body, two raised rings on neck. Condition: generally good, although there are firing flaws in the glaze. The following pieces are missing: top center of phoenix crest, tips of ears and one half of spout. This may well be a tenth century or early Sung example of 'ch'ing pai' ware. It was sold to the museum as coming (by a previous owner) from Indonesia. This ewer appears to be an export version of the famous phoenix-headed ewer from the Eumorfopoulos Collection in the British Museum.
  • Record Completeness: Best (91%)
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Recent Comments
21:23 09/20/2010
Where were phoenix-headed ewers made? At which kilns?
By Doug White

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