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Currently shown

Water Vessel (kendi) in Kraak Style

Location

CHINA, JIANGXI PROVINCE, JINGDEZHEN

Era

Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Wanli period (1573-1620)

Title

Water Vessel (kendi) in Kraak Style

Date

About 1600

Materials

Porcelain, painted decoration in underglaze blue

Dimensions

21.3 x 15.4 x 15.1 cm

Credits

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Burnett, inv. 1970.Ed.2

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

Most early blue-and-white porcelain reached Europe by land through the Middle East until Portuguese fleets found their way to China in the 16th century. Around 1580 a new type of blue-and-white porcelain with panelled borders was developed at Jingdezhen. Mass-produced in standardized shapes, these wares were stackable and light, which reduced transport costs. Originally intended for the Asian market, so-called export porcelain was soon traded across the globe, including to the Americas, until the 1640s. This commerce was primarily under the flag of the Dutch East India Company, founded in 1602, which carried the new kraak wares in unprecedented quantities (kraak is the Dutch word for “carrack,” an ocean-going trading vessel). Attractively decorated with plants, birds and animals, they had worldwide success; a charming example is a kendi, a water vessel whose shape originated in Southeast Asia.

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