Boat-shaped ewer

Unknown16th to 17th century

Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Museum of Art

Boat-shaped ewers are derived from the nef, a vessel in the shape of a medieval ship that once adorned banquet tables. The first nef of Venetian glass was created, it is said, in 1521 by Arminia Vivarini, a woman born to the Vivarini family of Venetian School painters. Nefs were probably used to serve wine. In this example, the face of man, and, to its left and right, swag-like decorations that suggest clusters of grapes have been fused to the surface. The latticework sail was created by using pincers to soften and weave together, one by one, glass canes. Atop the sail is a cornucopia (the horn of plenty, originally a goat's horn), symbol of abundance. In this piece, the brilliance use of hot work techniques stands out within the smooth, generous moves so characteristic of Venetian glass.

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  • Title: Boat-shaped ewer
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 16th to 17th century
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: w244 x h310 cm
  • Object Title (Japanese): 船形水差
  • Object Date (English): 16th to 17th century
  • Category (Japanese): ガラス
  • Artist Name (Japanese): 不明
  • Type: Glass
  • Rights: Suntory Museum of Art, Suntory Museum of Art