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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Chicken headed ewer
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 東晉 越窯青瓷雞頭執壺
Work Type
second half 4th century
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Zhejiang Province, Shaoxing
Jin dynasty, Eastern Jin period, 317-420
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Yue ware: stoneware with celadon glaze
H. 13.4 x Diam. 14.6 cm (5 1/4 x 5 3/4 in.)
[Blitz Antiek en Kunsthandel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, March 1999] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (2002-2006), 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 a fund established by Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane for the purchase of Asian art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Small ewer with broad, rounded shoulders, sides tapering inward to a flat base, short neck supporting a dished mouth, short spout in the form of a chicken’s head with tubular opening at beak; curved handle attached to shoulder and dished mouth, placed opposite from the chicken-head spout; two squared lugs positioned bilaterally on the shoulders to the left and right of the spout; light gray stoneware with olive-green celadon glaze over incised, molded and applique decoration; slightly concave base mostly unglazed but bears some glaze and seven marks of spurs that elevated the vessel during firing to prevent it from fusing to kiln furniture. From the Yue kilns in the Shaoxing area, northeastern Zhejiang province.
Compare to:
(1) Celadon chicken-headed ewer of closely related form excavated in 1985 from a mid-Eastern Jin dynasty brick tomb near Mount Mufu, Nanjing city, Jiangsu province, now in Nanjing City Museum. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 3 (2001): 42, fig. 3.
(2) Celadon chicken-headed ewer of very similar form excavated in 1955 from an Eastern Jin dynasty brick tomb near Mount Langshan, Nanjing city, Jiangsu province. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 4 (1956): 12, fig. 13
(3) Celadon chicken-headed ewer of similar form (with handle broken) excavated in 1998 from a late Eastern Jin dynasty brick tomb near Mount Xianhe, Nanjing city, Jiangsu province. See Wenwu [Cultural Relics] 3 (2001): 37, fig. 122.
(4) Chicken-headed ewer of very similar form, but larger and with opalescent blue crackled glaze attributed to the Eastern Jin period in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco collection (accession no. B60P171). See He Li, Chinese Ceramics: The New Standard Guide (London: Thames and Hudson, 1996), no. 103, pp. 82 and 116.

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