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Artwork Details

15th-16th century
stoneware with cobalt underglaze painting
5 3/4 in. (14.61 cm)
Promised gift of William C. Weese, M.D., LSA ‘65


Subject Matter:

A kendi is pouring vessel with a spout on the side but without a handle. While pouring, the pot is held around its neck. Pouring vessels of this kind is not found at all in China before the Song dynasty where the earliest types seems to have been straight spouted vessels with South Chinese brown-black Jian type glaze.

During Yuan dynasty, white types with creamy white glaze over moulded decorations also with straight spouts, occurs in South Chinese export wares. In South East Asia, kendis seem to have had all the uses a pouring vessel with a spout could possibly have from medication, drinking, washing, blessing to sacrificial. Its main use seems to have been as a water drinking vessel, where many persons hygienically and without using any cups could share one water bottle by drinking directly from the stream coming from its spout when tilted.

Physical Description:

A green vessel, or kendi, with a flat oval body with a wide spout on the side that sharply thins at the tip. The neck at the top of the kendi's body is long and suddenly widens at the rim. The outside is decorated with geometric designs.

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