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An image of Ewer with Chicken head and dragon handle by


Ewer with Chicken head and dragon handle
Other titles:
Mingqi ewer
Place of origin
Tang dynasty 618 - 907 → China
Media category
Materials used
stoneware with clear glaze

6.1 cm diam. of mouth; 23.2 x 11.8 cm

Gift of Mr Sydney Cooper 1962
Accession number
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

This elegantly shaped ewer has a long neck and a broad shoulder decorated with a rooster stretching its neck and four looped hoops. Opposite the rooster is a long handle in the shape of a thirsty dragon whose mouth is biting deeply into the rim of the ewer. Here the rooster ('ji' in Chinese) is a pun of the word for luck. It can also represent the phoenix. Together, the dragon and the rooster symbolise male and female -“yin” and “yang” - the two forces on which the cosmos operates.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

Bibliography (2)

Mr V V W Fretwell, Mr L G Harrison, Ivan McMeekin and J. Hepburn Myrtle (Compilators), Chinese ceramics, Sydney, 1965, 18. 19

Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. XXVIII. See 'Further Information' for text.

Exhibition history (4)

An Englishman's Home, David Jones Ltd, Sydney, 1941 -

Chinese Ceramics, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Aug 1965–12 Sep 1965

Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983

Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012

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