We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Ewer with double dragon handles


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Place where the work was made
    Tang dynasty 618 - 907 → China
    Media category
    Materials used
    stoneware partly covered with transparent lead glaze
    30.7 x 14.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1988
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    Two thin-necked dragons bite symmetrically into the rim of this round-bodied ewer, creating its handles. The ewer probably dates from the Tang dynasty, archaeological findings from the tombs of which often reveal pairs of ewers. Some scholars speculate that the ewers were among the 'mingqi' (funeral goods) popular in the early 7th to mid 8th centuries in today's Shaanxi and Henan provinces. The shape of such ewers may derive from Greek amphora, with Chinese potters modifying the design by adding dragon heads for the handles. In the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Chinese intellectuals often placed similar amphora in their studies, sometimes using them as ink containers. By the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) the famous kilns of Jingdezhen were making reproductions of such vessels glazed in blue and white and polychrome enamels.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

  • Provenance

    Graham E. Fraser, Apr 1984-Oct 1988, United States of America, on loan to the Art Gallery from April 1984 to Oct 1988. Purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Oct 1988.