Medium: Cloisonné enamel on copper alloy
Dates:early 17th century
Dimensions: 10 1/4 x 6 11/16 in. (26 x 17 cm)
Accession Number: 09.657
Catalogue Description: Pilgrim flask with short foot, globular body and tall, narrow neck. Copper carved with cloisonné enamel. The foot and mouth as well as the handle are rimmed in gilt. Turquoise blue ground with decoration of peaches and pomegranates in red, dark blue, green, and yellow enamels. Loop handle on each side of the neck. One of four pieces in the Avery collection to bear a Jingtai mark, here shown in a gilded panel on the neck just below the mouth rim. According to the catalogue of the Avery collection of Ancient Chinese Cloisonné, Brooklyn 1912, the mark-Jingtai, 1450-1456, might be apocryphal, in which case the piece might have been made in the Kangxi period, 1662-1722. Although the form of such flasks is found in ceramics of the 15th and 18th centuries, the technique of enameling with tiny spiral wires scattered on a blue background is peculiar to the 17th century. The decorative motifs, the pomegranate, peach, rock, fungus [sic], orchid and narcissus together symbolize prosperity, longevity, and integrity.