Ewer with Peacock and Peonies


Ewer with Peacock and Peonies



The ewer with gold decoration on enamel is a very rare piece and can be regarded as one of the treasures of the Tata Collection. This combination was an innovation of the early 16th century. The gold motifs are the dominant design, with the enamelled body forming the background, resulting in a gorgeous and striking piece. In Japan, this type of porcelain is known as kinrande or “gold brocade” ware and is highly appreciated.
This type of vase, possibly a wine pot, can be traced back to the ewers of the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368). By the early 16th century, the shape had taken on delicate lines, giving it an elegant profile. The handle is provided with a loop after a metal prototype, so that the lid, now lost, could be chained to the handle. The slender spout is connected to the body by a graceful S-shaped cloud pattern. The heart-shaped panel decorating the body bears a peacock among peonies, a Song dynasty motif meaning “to civilize the world” and on the neck are banana leaves. Flowers in full bloom, scrolling leaves, and some of the Eight Treasures decorate the rest of the piece. The base is covered with white glaze and bears a square seal in blue-underglaze.
Sir D.J. Tata Collection


Chinese Art

Object Type



Porcelain with gold decoration over red enamel and four-character mark fugui jiaqi (refined ware used by the wealthy and noble)


Ming dynasty, Jiajing period




1522 - 66 CE


Jingdezhen production , Jiangxi Province, China


Height 23.4 cm, Dia 5.5 cm