What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

kendi

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.665

  • Description

    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.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1590-1610
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 199 millimetres
    • Width: 155 millimetres
    • Depth: 104 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming late 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A665

    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

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.39, no.85 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.47, no.A665, pl.VIII bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 pp 66-67, no.A665 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc22/sh4

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    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.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.665

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.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRC39572

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...