Lai-Yuan and Company, New York, to 1916 
From 1916 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Lai-Yuan and Company in 1916 
The Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Pottery List, L. 2485, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
- Previous Owner(s)
Lai-Yuan and Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Shaped like a monk's alms bowl and inscribed with the Buddhist text known as the Heart Sutra, this water basin is actually a secular object for a scholar's desk. Pottery made in Yixing was favored by scholars, whose appreciation for calligraphy influenced Yixing pottery so that writing played an increasingly prominent role in ceramic decoration. During the nineteenth century some potters trained as calligraphers and used writing as the sole decor on their pots. When a scholar rinsed off his brush in this basin, he may have been motivated by the calligraphy to improve his own writing. Likewise he may have been inspired by the text, which exhorts, "Form is no different from Emptiness, and Emptiness is no different than Form."
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum