Title:Ewer with Pheasant-Head StopperArtist:Artist UnknownDate:T'ang dynastyCreation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip FundAccession Number:50.1a,b
T'ang white ware, the world's first porcelain--durable, finely potted, and simply adorned--set a technical and aesthetic standard for all subsequent dynasties. It would also influence Middle Eastern ceramic traditions. This exceptionally rare ewer is capped with a removable lid in the shape of a pheasant head. It differs from earlier yueh ware examples in that the spout is not set on the shoulder of the vessel but rather at the top of a simple, elegantly shaped container nearly devoid of decoration. It is possible that silver or even glass vessels imported from the Middle East during T'ang (618-906) may have influenced the basic shape and placement of the bird head at the top of the vessel. The refined form and pure white color however is reflective of Chinese taste in early porcelain.