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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Chicken headed ewer with descending lotus-petal decor
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 南北朝 青瓷雞頭執壺南北朝 青瓷雞頭執壺
Work Type
6th century
Creation Place: East Asia, China
Northern and Southern Dynasties period, 420-589
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Stoneware with celadon glaze
H. 32.2 x Diam. 21.5 cm (12 11/16 x 8 7/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[Priestley and Ferraro, London, April 2000] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (2000-2006), partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for Asian Art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Ewer with rounded shoulders, sides tapering gently inward and then straight down to a flat base; long, waisted cylindrical neck topped with dish-like mouth; short spout in the form of a chicken’s head with small tubular opening in its beak; curved handle attached to shoulder and dished mouth, placed opposite from the chicken-head spout; two squared lugs on the shoulders positioned bilaterally to the left and right of the spout; incised decoration of on the body of lotus petals pointing downward toward the foot; light gray stoneware with olive green glaze over incised decoration; unglazed base. Place of manufacture uncertain, probably southern China.
Compare to:
(1) Celadon chicken-headed ewer of virtually identical form, with similar incised decor of descending lotus petals, attributed to the Southern Dynasties period (420-589) in the East Zhejiang Museum of Yue Celadon Ware collection. See Beijing daxue Zhongguo kaogu yanjiu zhongxin [Chinese Archaeology Research Center, Peking University], Die cui : Zhedong yueyao qingci bowuguan zang qingci jingpin [Vibrant Greens: Celadon Glazes over Two Millennia: Masterpieces from the East Zhejiang Museum of Yue Celadon ware] (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2013), no. 68, pp. 348-351.
(2) Celadon chicken-headed ewer of similar form but without incised lotus-petal decor, purportedly made at the Hongzhou kilns, Nancheng, Jiangxi province, excavated in 1958 from a Southern Dynasties period tomb in Wuhan, Hubei province, now in the Hubei Provincial Museum. See Zhongguo chutu ciqi quanji [Complete Collection of Chinese Ceramics Unearthed in China], vol. 13: Hubei Hunan (Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 2008), no. 51.
(3) Celadon dish-mouthed vase of different form but with similar incised decor of descending lotus petals on body, purportedly made at the Xiangyin kilns in Hunan province, unearthed in 1997 from the Chenzhou Machine Factory, Hunan province; now in the Chenzhou Museum. See ibid., no. 140.

Exhibition History

Subjects and Contexts

  • Sedgwick Collection

Verification Level

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