Water pot | Gongyi, China, Tang dynasty (618–907), probably 9th century

Water pot

Object TitleWater pot
OriginGongyi, China
DateTang dynasty, 619–907, probably 9th century
Dimensionsheight 7.5 cm
CollectionUniversity Museum and Art Gallery, HKU
Accession No.HKU.C.1953.0028

A rare example of early blue-and-white pottery from the Tang dynasty, this water pot is sparsely decorated with horizontal blue dashes and dots over a crackled transparent glaze, reminiscent of the freeform brown and green designs on Changsha wares from Hunan. The shape of the pot resembles Tang period tripod vessels used by scholars to clean brushes and add water to ink. Chinese blue-and-white ceramics from the Tang period were virtually unknown until shards recovered from the coastal city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province in 1975 confirmed their existence. Most of these early blue-and-white wares were likely made at kilns in Gongxian (now Gongyi county) in Henan province.