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Vase with Phoenix-Shaped Ears

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
This elegant vase represents the aesthetics of the Confucian elite in Song-dynasty China, reflecting values of balance, symmetry, and rectitude. During the Southern Song period, the imperial court was in exile in the southern capital of Hangzhou, after having lost political control of northern China. The celadon color of this vessel’s glaze nostalgically refers to the ancient bronzes and jades prominent in ancestral rituals in the Shang (circa 1600–1050 B.C.E.) and Zhou (circa 1050–256 B.C.E.) dynasties, perceived by the Song elite as a golden era. The gold lacquer on the handle shows that the vessel was most likely repaired in Japan, where celadons were also prized.
MEDIUM High-fired green ware (celadon)
  • Place Made: Zhejiang, China
  • DATES 1127–1279
    DYNASTY Southern Song Dynasty
    PERIOD Southern Song Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 10 7/8 x 4 1/2 in. (27.7 x 11.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE By exchange
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1937, provenance not yet documented; by 1937, acquired by Yamanaka & Co., New York, NY; March 1937, purchased from Yamanaka & Co. by the Brooklyn Museum, by exchange.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    CAPTION Vase with Phoenix-Shaped Ears, 1127–1279. High-fired green ware (celadon), 10 7/8 x 4 1/2 in. (27.7 x 11.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 37.131. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.131_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE 37.131_PS9.jpg.
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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     <em>Vase with Phoenix-Shaped Ears</em>, 1127–1279. High-fired green ware (celadon), 10 7/8 x 4 1/2 in. (27.7 x 11.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 37.131. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.131_PS9.jpg)