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Fire-flame Cooking Vessel

Fire-flame Cooking Vessel

c. 2500 BC

Japan, Jōmon period

(c. 10,500-300 BC)

Earthenware with carved and applied decoration

Diameter: 55.8 cm (21 15/16 in.); Overall: 61 cm (24 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1984.68

Description

Archaeologists call this kind of vessel “fire-flame,” ka’en in Japanese, because their tops resemble flames. No one knows why the design was created, or what it actually represents. This example is remarkable for the amount that is original. It was recently determined that the bottom from a different vessel was used during its reconstruction, creating a false impression of its intended scale; it would have been about four inches shorter. Since their lower portions were set into holes in the ground during use, bases of pots like these often deteriorated.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Ceramic

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