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Ru Kiln Narcissus Basin


Ru Kiln Narcissus Basin

  • Part of our Song Kiln Collection, this museum-grade piece is inspired by the celadon ware of the Song Dynasty's Imperial Ru Kiln.

    A stunningly faithful recreation of the most iconic piece ever created at the Song Dynasty Ru Kiln (and therefore one of China's most famous works of art), this Shui Xian Pen or "Narcissus Basin" is handcrafted by nationally acclaimed Taiwanese master ceramicist, Xu De Jia.

    Famously admired by Chinese emperors throughout the ages (from Huizong of Northern Song who first comissioned the piece in the late ten-hundreds, to Qianlong of Ming who had a poem carved on the original's base in the seventeen-hundreds), this unique vessel features prominently in mention and as a subject of paintings across Chinese art history. Intriguingly, the piece was only named a "narcissus basin" in the early 1900's by museum curators; its true function remains a mystery lost to time. In reality, the Narcissus Basin may have been used by the emperor for washing calligraphy brushes, arranged on a shelf as a piece of art for viewing, or (as Qianlong's poem suggests) enlisted as a food bowl for the imperial pooch.

    Whatever its original purpose, there is no denying the aesthetic allure of this enigmatic vessel. Formed with deep, gently flaring walls set atop four cloud-like feet, Xu De Jia's masterful replica of the coveted Narcissus Basin is enrobed in his trademark Ru-style glaze. Satiny to the touch, with a color that shifts between jade green, turquoise blue, and soft grey depending on the light, the piece is covered by a web of craquelure. Like the emperors of old, how you use this piece — for example, as a standalone art piece or a water receptacle while brewing tea — is for you to decide.

    Only one available.

  • All volumes are measured to the brim. Functional volume may vary.

    length 9.5"  •  width 5.75"  •  height 3.5"  •  volume 1130ml / 38oz