Kendi or porcelain water vessel in form of an elephant. Underglaze blue with wide vertical bands running down each side of the elephant's body with a garden scene. Tall prunus branch on the neck. Base unglazed.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 199 millimetres
- Width: 155 millimetres
- Depth: 104 millimetres
Published PDF date : Ming late 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:
Blue-and-white kendi in the form of an elephant
Marine archaeologists recovered an identical kendi, in the form of a caparisoned elephant (saddled and with a bridle), from the wreck of the San Diego which sank in AD 1600 outside Manila Bay. Divers found more than 500 blue-and-white porcelians from Jingdezhen which were originally destined for the New World and Spain on the shipwreck. Philip II of Spain once owned a similar kendi as demonstrated by an example listed in his possessions in an inventory taken after his death in 1590. There it is listed as "Una garrafa con cuello alto y una cabeza de elefante por pico de porcelana azul y blanca" [A bottle of blue-and-white porcelain with a high neck and a head of an elephant for a spout].
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
Ming dynasty, Wanli period, about AD 1590-1610
On display: G95/dc22/sh4
Purchased by Sir Percival David from Bluett & Sons on 27th April 1933. Listed in Bluett & Sons Sales Day Book (SDB) vol. 14, p.206, Lot 118. £20. Bluett's purchased this ewer (one of two) at Sotheby's, 25th-26th April 1933 from the Stephen D. Winkworth Collection Sale.
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Object reference number: RRC39572
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