China, Wan Li period (1573–1620), Mounts England, c. 1600
Kendi pouring vessel adapted as a ewer with English silver mounts
This ewer belongs to a group of porcelain objects that were made during the reign of Emperor Wan Li and exported to Europe. The term kendi derives from Sanskrit and denotes drinking vessels with squat, spherical bodies, a trumpet-shaped neck and a spout. In order to be able to use the kendi as a pouring vessel according to Western custom it was mounted in silver. The zoomorphic design of the root of the spout resembles a wolf’s head. Other heads representing animals and mythical creatures are found on the upper part of the handle which is attached to the neck by a band. The domed cover has a narrow base and displays a winged cherub’s head towards the handle.