Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Ewer and cover

Ewer and cover

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal empire (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nephrite jade, fashioned, carved and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools, probably with much of the process requiring turning on a bow-driven lathe. The holes in the body and down the spout were made using a bow drill.

  • Credit Line:

    Wells Bequest

  • Museum number:

    1573&A-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ewer was probably made within the Mughal empire in the 18th century. The body of the ewer, its spout and cover have each been fashioned from single pieces of green nephrite jade, a hard and durable material that requires patience and skill to work. It was bequeathed to the museum by Arthur Wells, a Nottingham solicitor and Clerk of the Peace. He was a keen traveller and was made a Fellow of the Geographical Society. He is considered to be the first private British collector of Chinese jade and his collection of jade and other hardstone objects from South Asia was on exhibition at the South Kensington Museum at the time of his death in 1882.

Physical description

A round ewer and cover, fashioned in greyish green nephrite jade and with a good polish all over.
The ewer has a squat body with a fairly tall neck that is slightly pinched in the middle and which then flares at the mouth. It stands on a short, flared and recessed foot with a rim and the body has a recessed opening in the side where the separately fashioned spout was once attached and which has since come adrift but is present. The interior is smoothly finished and the exterior has been carved and incised with plants and foliage that resemble palm trees. The slightly curved spout has a leaf or palm frond carved in relief on the underside and there is additional leaf decoration carved around the tip.
The cover is round and domed with an attached finial that has been carved as a flower bud. The underside is plain and the wide rim has a raised inner ring to help locate and secure the cover onto the ewer. On the upper surface, around the finial, there is a circular band of petal-like channels which is then surrounded by an additional band of repeating motifs, all carved in relief.

Place of Origin

Mughal empire (made)

Date

18th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Nephrite jade, fashioned, carved and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools, probably with much of the process requiring turning on a bow-driven lathe. The holes in the body and down the spout were made using a bow drill.

Dimensions

Diameter: 88.5 mm 1573-1882, Height: 105.0 mm 1573-1882 +/- 0.5, Depth: 93.0 mm 1573-1882, Diameter: 65.25 mm 1573-1882, Diameter: 47.4 to 47.9 mm 1573-1882, Depth: 6.1 mm 1573-1882, Length: 88.5 mm 1573-1882, Diameter: 66.0 to 66.3 mm 1573A-1882, Height: 45.5 mm 1573A-1882

Object history note

This ewer and cover were probably fashioned in Turkey, possibly in the 18th century and were acquired by Arthur Wells who was a Nottingham solicitor and Clerk of the Peace. He was a keen traveller and was made a Fellow of the Geographical Society. He is considered to be the first private British collector of Chinese jade and his collection of jade and other hardstone objects from South Asia was on exhibition at the South Kensington Museum at the time of his death in 1882. This collection was left to the museum in his will - the Wells Bequest.

Descriptive line

Ewer and cover, round with tall, flared neck, spout detached, carved decoration, attached finial to cover, greyish green nephrite jade, Mughal empire, probably 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 227, cat. no. 1136
The art of India and Pakistan, a commemorative catalogue of the exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1947-8. Edited by Sir Leigh Ashton. London: Faber and Faber, [1950]

Materials

Nephrite

Categories

Drinking; Food vessels & Tableware; Gemstones; Hardstone

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.