Maklaiheung Gallery

15 or 16th Century Massive Polychrome Kendi, Vietnam

15 or 16th Century Massive Polychrome Kendi, Vietnam


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Ceramics: Pre 1800: Item # 1378354

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Massive polychrome Kendi, Vietnam, C15-16. It has a tall neck and mammiform spout and is decorated with six horizontal lines of underglaze blue and a polychrome design in overglaze enamels of reddish brown and bright green. A scalloped motif is painted on the neck flange, a band of lotus petals on the shoulder and water weeds (eelgrass) around the base. The body is decorated with ogival panels of grasses against a background of red waves, and the spout with green flames and a Ruyi-shaped cloud-head containing jewels and flowers. The enamels have worn away in places so that only a ghost of the pattern remains. There is a brown wash on the base. It was probably used for pouring lustral water in Buddhist ceremonies, the water being purified figuratively by the flames as it flowed from the generous spout. There are hardly any other examples as large as this; the only other one we know, which is now in the Bangkok National Museum, was found inside the chedi at Wat Mahathat in Petchabun. Dia: 28 cm, H: 23.5 cm Condition: Good. Some fading of color detail due to the age. Repairs at the edge of the top flare, and two small chips under the spout which are natural considering the size.
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