A Global Crayfish: The Transcultural Travels of a Chinese Ming Dynasty Ceramic Ewer
Dr. Eva Stroeber (Independent Scholar
Former Curator for Oriental ceramics
Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)
An unusual type of a small ewer in the shape of a crayfish was produced in China in the second half of the 16th century, probably in private kilns in southern China. Made of stoneware, these “crayfish ewers” are glazed on the biscuit in green, brown, yellow and turquoise. Strangely enough, no crayfish ewers are preserved in China proper. Three case studies will follow the global and transcultural travels of the crayfish ewer, as it crossed culturally defined border, to explore how this type of vessel was appreciated and used in different cultural contexts.