Footed Bowls: A Timeless Classic

by Andrea Hill

Footed bowls have stood the test of time as a household staple for centuries. The addition of a pedestal-like base elevates the vessel above the table, providing stability and a touch of sophistication. As we anticipate the upcoming launch of designer Farrah Sit's latest collection for Tortuga Forma, we are taking some "footnotes" on our favorite bowls past and present.

Bowl with Human Feet | Predynastic, Late Naqada l–Naqada II

In the Predynastic Period, potters created a wide variety of ceramic vessels, and one of the most unusual was a bowl with anthropomorphic supports shaped like human feet. The theory goes that these simple, round bowls with a forward tilt were designed to hold offerings and used in rituals. 

Lucie Rie 1968 Large Footed Bowl

This large, footed bowl was created in 1968 and is a beautiful example of celebrated British potter Lucie Rie's work. The bowl features a conical shape with a flared lip and rests on a narrow, footed base. It is glazed in a soft, mottled gray-green color that is characteristic of Rie's glaze palette.

13th Century Footed Bowl

This metal footed Persian bowl from the 13th century boasts a rich surface of inlaid silver detail. Epigraphic bands, each inscribed with blessings for the bowl's owner in animated script, are located under the rim and around the foot. 

Ritual Vessel, Unknown, Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century

Above is the Ritual Vessel, an 18th-century Korean porcelain piece created during the Joseon dynasty. It exemplifies the traditional Korean ceramic style known as "Baekja," which is recognized by its milky white color and clear glaze.

A 15th Century Chinese Porcelain Bowl

This 15th-Century porcelain bowl is a remarkable example from China's Ming dynasty, featuring a cobalt blue and white floral motif. The bowl is made in the traditional tapered shape of a rounded lotus bud or chicken heart lotus, and is supported by a shallow foot. The bowl is adorned with peony, chrysanthemum, and pomegranate flowers in a silky glaze. Notably, there are only six known pieces like it in the world.

The Kaolin Collection by Farrah Sit. Photograph by Hannah Whitaker

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