Pilgrim flask

This flask is unusually large, with a full flattened ovoid body supported on an oval, splayed foot. The buff-white clay of the body is mold cast, and covered by a finely crazed colorless glaze that is often described as white or straw-colored. The large flattened body is decorated with a single pendant palmette molded in low relief. The stem of the palmette continues around the edge to form a frame, the bottom of which rises to two points to form a curved dishlike support for the largest petal of the palmette. The two small lugs are attached separately to the shoulder.

Historical period(s)
Sui or Tang dynasty, late 6th-early 7th century
Medium
Stoneware with transparent glaze over white slip
Dimensions
H x W x D: 38.4 x 31.1 x 17 cm (15 1/8 x 12 1/4 x 6 11/16 in)
Geography
Northern China
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1995.92
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Flask

Keywords
China, stoneware, Sui dynasty (581 - 618), Tang dynasty (618 - 907), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Bilfinger, Zurich and Massachusetts [1]

1995
Sale, Sotheby's, New York, 1995

From 1995
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased at auction, Sotheby's, New York, in 1995

Notes:

[1] The object was in the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Bilfinger (Zurich, Switzerland and Massachusetts), and was on loan to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, during the early 1960s (according to Provenance Remark 1, Jenny So, March 17, 1995, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Bilfinger
Sotheby's (New York)

Description

This flask is unusually large, with a full flattened ovoid body supported on an oval, splayed foot. The buff-white clay of the body is mold cast, and covered by a finely crazed colorless glaze that is often described as white or straw-colored. The large flattened body is decorated with a single pendant palmette molded in low relief. The stem of the palmette continues around the edge to form a frame, the bottom of which rises to two points to form a curved dishlike support for the largest petal of the palmette. The two small lugs are attached separately to the shoulder.

Published References
  • Max Loehr. Chinese Art: Symbols and Images. Exh. cat. Wellesley, Massachusetts. cat. 14, fig. 1b.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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