These two unusual ewers are in the shape of an egg-shaped kiln, the most common type of kiln used in Jingdezhen, China. A typical kiln would be thirty to forty feet long, with a fire box at one end, a chimney at the other, and a large chamber into which wares were placed in saggars (protective boxes) to be fired.
Developed in the sixteenth century, egg-shaped kilns remained in use into the 1950s. This sophisticated design was one of the reasons Jingdezhen was so successful at making porcelain; the kilns were quick (a firing could last as little as 36 hours), fuel efficient, and provided a range of temperatures in the chamber, allowing different wares to be fired at the same time.
This piece is actually a ewer or a teapot, with a spout over the door and two small loops on the back to hold a now-lost bamboo handle. Pots like these were almost certainly made for potters or collectors.
|Year Range from||1875|
|Year Range to||1900|
|Place of Origin||Made in Jingdezhen, China|
|Collection||The Reeves Center|
|Credit line||Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by Herbert G. McKay|
|On View||Reeves Center, Hallway|
|Gallery ID Number||301|