Ewer with three feet
China, Shandong province
about 2500 BC
Museum no. FE.8-2000
Purchased with funds from Mr T.T. Tsui
This early ewer was made from the same kaolin-rich clay as porcelain. But at this date high-temperature porcelain kilns had not been invented. The clay was therefore fired below 1050ºC and has remained a porous earthenware.
Kaolin is more resistant to heat than other clays. This fact, together with the ewer's distinctive shape, suggests that it was placed over a fire for boiling water.