Collection online

flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1936,1012.166

  • Description

    Square Cizhou-type stoneware wine flask, slipped, and painted in iron-brown. This heavily potted Cizhou-type stoneware wine flask has a flat unglazed base, straight sides and an arced top with two loop handles and a narrow neck with a mushroom lip and narrow opening. It is covered with a cream slip and is painted in underglaze brown beneath a transparent glaze. On one side beneath a willow tree a man and woman dance while a billy and nanny goat look on. On the other side we see a man and a woman climbing a bridge with a gateway over which three characters are painted, 'Sheng xian qiao' [The Bridge of Becoming Immortals], and cranes fly in the sky. Framing both these designs are a chain border of cream on brown and a cream scroll-work outer border emphasized by hatched brown lines. The name of the wine is written in a rectangular cartouche on the shoulder of the flask: 羊 羔 酒 'Yang Gaojiu' [Yang Gao wine or Kid brew]. The manufacturers of the wine flask are also recorded in a similar cartouche on the other shoulder above the loop handles: 'Baishan Jia jia zao' [Made by the Jia family of Baishan]. Repeated on both sides of the flask is a parallel couplet written in two lines of seven characters to inspire drinking. It reads: 'Jin deng ma ta fang cao di. Yulou ren zui xing hua tian' [A horse with golden stirrups treads in fragrant grasslands. A man in the jade pavilion is intoxicated in the apricot blossom skies].

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1280-1398 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 43 centimetres
    • Width: 37 centimetres
    • Diameter: 11.2 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        shoulder and sides
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        羊 羔 酒
        白山賈家造
        金鐙馬踏芳草地。玉樓人醉杏花天
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yang Gao jiu
        Baishan Jia jia zao
        Jing deng ma ta fang cao di. Yulou ren zui xing hua tian
      • Inscription Translation

        Yang Gao wine or Kid brew
        Made by the Jia family of Baishan
        A horse with golden stirrups treads in fragrant grasslands. A man in the jade pavilion is intoxicated in the apricot blossom skies
  • Curator's comments

    Harrison-Hall 2001:
    Flasks of this type were made on a much larger scale in the Yuan and early Ming periods than in the Song or Jin dynasties. This example is particularly interesting because of its inscriptions and designs.The flask is effectively a luxury decanter for 'Yang Gao wine'. 'Yang Gao' wine was made in Shanxi province but also in Henan and Zhejiang. It is far too large to be a portable container for travellers. Instead it is likely to have been made for a wine shop A Western visitor to China in the thirteenth century, William of Rubruck, noted that the Mongols enjoyed four varieties of wine: 'koumiss' (fermented mare's milk), rice wine, grape wine and honey wine.The jade pavilion is a drinking house and apricot blossom is a name for ladies of the night. Thus the couplet promotes the taste and effects of the flask's contents.
    Flattened rectangular flasks of about this height but with slimmer bodies and more rounded shoulders were made both at Cizhou-type kilns and Jingdezhen in c. 1320-50. Several blue-and-white examples have been found outside China, such as a flask collected in Indonesia, which is in the Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo, and another in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul. Yuan Cizhou-type flasks also with rounded shoulders have been discovered in dwelling sites within Beijing. Cizhou-type wares were in great demand for containers for locally produced wine. In the Song period, for example, according to Zhang Nengchen, a wine known as 'Fengju faqiu' was made in Cizhou and another called 'Yinguang' was made near the Guantai kilns.This has been reinterpreted by Yi Nibin.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Harrison-Hall 2011 bibliographic details
    • Harrison-Hall 2001 14:3 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2012 Sep – 2013 Apr, BM G91, ‘Ritual and revelry: the art of drinking in Asia'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1936

  • Acquisition notes

    Bought with the help of public subscription.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1936,1012.166

A heavily potted Chizou-type stoneware wine flask with flat unglazed base, straight sides and an arched top with two loop handles and a narrow neck with a mushroom lip and narrow opening. Covered with a cream slip and painted in underglaze brown beneath a transparent glaze. On one side with a man and a woman dancing beneath a willow tree. On the other side a man and a woman climbing a bridge wateaway over which three characters are painted, Sheng xian qiao [The Bridge of Becoming Immortals], and cranes fly in the sky. Framing these designs are a chain border of cream on brown and a cream scroll-work outer border emphasized by hatched brown lines. The name of the wine is written in a rectangular cartouche on the shoulder of the flask: Yang Gao jiu [Yang Gao wine or Kid brew].The manufactureres of the wine are recorder in a cartouche on the other shoulder above the loop handles: Baishan Jia jia zao [Made by the Jia family of Baishan]. Repeated on both sides of the flask is a parallel couplet written in two lines of seven characters to inspire drinking. It reads: Jin deng ma ta fang cao di. Yulou ren zui xing hua tian [A horse with golden stirrups treads in fragant grasslands. A man in the jade pavilion is intoxicated in the apricot blossom skies].

A heavily potted Chizou-type stoneware wine flask with flat unglazed base, straight sides and an arched top with two loop handles and a narrow neck with a mushroom lip and narrow opening. Covered with a cream slip and painted in underglaze brown beneath a transparent glaze. On one side with a man and a woman dancing beneath a willow tree. On the other side a man and a woman climbing a bridge wateaway over which three characters are painted, Sheng xian qiao [The Bridge of Becoming Immortals], and cranes fly in the sky. Framing these designs are a chain border of cream on brown and a cream scroll-work outer border emphasized by hatched brown lines. The name of the wine is written in a rectangular cartouche on the shoulder of the flask: Yang Gao jiu [Yang Gao wine or Kid brew].The manufactureres of the wine are recorder in a cartouche on the other shoulder above the loop handles: Baishan Jia jia zao [Made by the Jia family of Baishan]. Repeated on both sides of the flask is a parallel couplet written in two lines of seven characters to inspire drinking. It reads: Jin deng ma ta fang cao di. Yulou ren zui xing hua tian [A horse with golden stirrups treads in fragant grasslands. A man in the jade pavilion is intoxicated in the apricot blossom skies].

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: RRC9621

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...