Blue and white gourd shaped ewer

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Kangxi Period, 1662 - 1722
20.5 cm
16 cm

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This blue and white gourd shaped ewer is painted in a bright blue color. On the sides of the belly of the ewer is a panel with flowers near a rock and on the top half of the ewer, handle and spout are flowering branches. The rim of the ewer and cover is decorated with a geometrical band, the domed cover has a lotus bud finial. The ewer is of double-gourd form, supported on a short foot and flanked by a loop handle and a curved spout.

The ewer is shaped like a gourd, a specific type of pumpkin and a shape that is considered auspicious in Chinese culture and mythology. Many Taoist immortals were depicted holding a gourd, using it for liquors, magic elixirs or medicine, and more importantly, also using it to suck and confine evil spirits to it: the gourd is believed to have the ability to absorb negative energy. Also, the Chinese word for gourd, ‘Hulu’, has auspicious associations and the shape of the gourd is said to represent sky and earth.


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