Pheonix-Headed Ewer

Period:
Tang dynasty (618–907)
Date:
late 7th–first half of the 8th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Earthenware with three-color (sancai) glaze
Dimensions:
H. 12 3/4 in. (32.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of Stanley Herzman, in memory of Adele Herzman, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.253.4
Not on view
The shape of either Western Asian or Central Asian metalwork could have provided the model for this Tang-dynasty earthenware ewer. However, the attachment of its elongated handle to the mouth rim rather than the body indicates a Central Asian—specifically, Sogdian—prototype. The mounted archer shooting over his shoulder, the so-called "Parthian shot," can be found in the Western ornamental lexicon.
Stanley Herzman , New York (until 1991; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Selection of Chinese Ceramics from the Adele and Stanley Herzman Collection," June 1, 1990–August 26, 1990.