Vase In Shape Of A “Ku”


Vase in Shape of a “Ku”, 1700–1799, Qing Dynasty

  • On View


Dimensions: 9 1/4 × 6 3/4 in. (23.5 × 17.1 cm)

Gift of Mrs. Thelma C. Foy, 2005.98

This tall vase with a wide mouth and slightly flared base is modeled after an ancient Chinese wine beaker known as a Ku. It was made during Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) and likely used primarily for decoration. During the Qing Dynasty great emphasis was put on technical ingenuity and perfection. The fine grain of porcelain made the material challenging to work with but sumptuous when molded by a skilled hand. When glazed the rich, shiny surface was often considered a luxury item in China. General text on porcelain:Porcelain was invented in China, perhaps as early as the 7th or 8th century. It is the least porous of the three traditional clay bodies and is almost translucent when it is thin. The main component of porcelain is Kaolin, or china clay, which is usually mixed with other clays to achieve a workable texture. Porcelain objects are fired, or heated, in a kiln at extremely high temperatures until the clay fuses into a dense, hard substance that resembles stone or glass.

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