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Between and Mortarboard


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Flask

Accession Number
1993/1.92

Title
Flask

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
907-1125

Medium & Support
stoneware with slip and glaze

Dimensions
12 3/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 4 7/8 in (31 cm x 13.4 cm x 12.4 cm);12 3/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 4 7/8 in (31 cm x 13.4 cm x 12.4 cm);13 3/16 in x 6 7/8 in x 6 7/8 in (33.5 cm x 17.5 cm x 17.5 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

Label copy
From the mid-tenth to the early twelfth centuries, the Khitan Liao, a sinicized tribe of Mongol origin, ruled over much of north China. So powerful was the Liao that the contemporary Chinese dynasty of Northern Song (960-1126) regularly sent tribute north to keep the peace.
Liao pottery borrows heavily from Tang and Northern Song models, but Liao ceramic production also shows an originality and vitality that reflects the cosmopolitan nature of Khitan culture, particularly in the area of vessel shape. Liao potters adopted shapes from objects made in other materials and from objects of West Asian and Middle Eastern origin. For example, the flask shaped vessel imitates the shape of leather bags used by the horse-riding Khitan to keep kumis, an alcoholic drink made from mare’s milk. The bag-shaped ovoid ewer topped with a spout to one side and a loop handle was also used as a wine flask. Its shape is loosely based on a Middle Eastern form made in metal, and ultimately the oenochoe wine jugs of ancient Greece.
(Label for UMMA Chinese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
From the mid-tenth to the early twelfth centuries, the Khitan Liao, a sinicized tribe of Mongol origin, ruled over much of north China. So powerful was the Liao that the contemporary Chinese dynasty of Northern Song (960-1126) regularly sent tribute north to keep the peace.
Liao pottery borrows heavily from Tang and Northern Song models, but Liao ceramic production also shows an originality and vitality that reflects the cosmopolitan nature of Khitan culture, particularly in the area of vessel shape. Liao potters adopted shapes from objects made in other materials and from objects of West Asian and Middle Eastern origin.

Physical Description
This is a stoneware flask with amber glaze on the upper portion. The lower portion is unglazed, showing white slip.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
bottle

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
ceramic (material)
earthenware
flasks (bottles)
jars
lead glaze
stoneware (pottery)

& Author Notes

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