Inspiration and objects of comparison from other parts of Asia

fig12: korean incense burner

Fig. 12: Korean Incense Burner in: Smith, G.J. (ed.) Arts of Korea

Turning away from Japan and towards the mainland, we find round, footed, bronze jars, usually incense burners, in Korea and China that in shape remind of European wine goblets, but miss the lid.

Further to the south, in Burma, lidded and footed offering bowls resemble our chalice. They are often made from lacquered and gilded bamboo and lavishly decorated with floral designs, landscape motifs, mirrored and non-mirrored glass inlays. Yet they differ in the breaking up of the outer shape in separate broader or slimmer, differently decorated rims.

Much more a good example of the smooth round shape, but again without a lid, is the footed bowl, made by the Toradjas of Sulawesi[6]. It is a round coconut shell, woven into a base of coiled grass.

fig13: burmese offering container

Fig. 13: Burmese offering container (Cat.18) in: Emerald Cities. Arts of Siam and Burma

In all those examples we can identify the bulbous shape in the chalice’s bowl. But they lack at least one of the goblets characteristics: its fluent, lengthy orientated shape, its circus-tent-like lid, its purity in design. All that makes a comparison a bit unsatisfying.

Albeit, those objects as well as the ones in Japan should not be neglected, as they endorse the concept of designing footed and/or lidded bowls in Asia. Furthermore, some of those Asian pieces might have made their way to one of the harbours used by the Dutch trading ships, bought by a crewmember and then reached Japan via Nagasaki.


Next: Inspiration and objects of comparison from Europe


[6] Torajas: an ethnic group on Sulawesi island, Indonesia


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