From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
A Chinese carved lacquer vase from the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty, 15th century
Glass vase on a table in a cafeteria in Currier House at Harvard University

A vase (/ˈvɑːz/, /ˈvs/, or /ˈvz/) is an open container, often used to hold cut flowers. It can be made from a number of materials such as ceramics or glass. The vase is often decorated and thus used to extend the beauty of its contents.

Vases are defined as having a certain anatomy. Lowest is the foot, a distinguishable base to the piece. The design of the base may be bulbous, flat, carinate,[1] or another shape. Next, the body, which forms the main and often largest portion of the piece. Resting atop the body is the shoulder, where the body curves inward. Then the neck, where the vase is given more height. Lastly, the lip, where the vase flares back out at the top. All these attributes can be seen in the picture at right. Many vases are also given handles. Today, the shapes of vases have evolved from the conventional ones to modern designs and shapes.

The vase has also developed as an art medium unto itself. The ancient Greeks famously used vases to depict scenes. It has since been developed and in 2003 the winner of the Turner Prize was Jawwadul Islam, for vase art.

Historical Vase Shapes:

Modern Vase Shapes:

  • Bottle
  • Cylinder-shaped vase
  • Gourd-shaped vase
  • Jar
  • Mushroom-shaped vase
  • Pitcher
  • Rotund vase
  • Turnip-shaped vase
  • Urn

See also[edit]

Vanda Orchid


  1. ^ Emmanuel Cooper. 2000. Ten Thousand Years of Pottery, fourth edition, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0-8122-3554-1, ISBN 978-0-8122-3554-8, 352 pages