Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

An Asian Pottery Kendi â late 19th Century

An Asian Pottery Kendi – late 19th Century

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Ceramics: Pre 1920: Item # 1029823

Please refer to our stock # 48hh* when inquiring.
This is an unusually shaped pottery kendi with a milk chocolate color to it – it appears to have a light transparent glaze to allow the color of the clay to show through. It is not shaped like any other Kendi we have ever seen. We have had kendi with long spouts such as this piece – but never one with an extended bent handle like this. Because most kendi do not have a handle, we are not even positive that this pouring vessel is, in fact, a kendi. It might well have been some other type of vessel.

We are not even sure from what country the piece originated. We believe it is definitely one of the Southeast Asia countries but have not been able to pin it down and find similar examples with the curved handle. So – we shall just call it our Mystery Asian Kendi and leave it at that. The piece speaks for itself as lovely curving form. It is in excellent condition. It measures 6 ¼” high by 6 ¾” length from the top of the handle to the back of the body. We date it to the late 19th to early 20th century.

The kendi is a well-known form in the Southeast Asian repertoire of vessels, and it has played a significant role in the rituals and daily life of the region since ancient times. The kendi made of unglazed fired clay has a long, continuous history of use as a humble, utilitarian vessel that was ideal for its cooling properties and for its portability, such as carrying water when traveling from village to village or for a longer journey by boat.