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Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Provence, China, found in Bukittingi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, Kendi, 15th century, Ming Dynasty, National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta

Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Provence, China
found in Bukittingi, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Kendi 15th century Ming Dynasty
underglaze blue decorated porcelain, silver mounts
17.2 x 21.0 x 9.5 cm

National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta

 

The elegant shape of this pouring vessel imitates the bronze water containers of Persia and Mughal India. The Indian metal versions originally derived from animal hide drinking flasks that reflected the nomadic Central Asian heritage of the Mughals.

In the context of its ceremonial use in Islamic west Sumatran society, the crescent moon form of this kendi would have had great symbolic appeal.