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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.700

  • Description

    Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish with deep rounded sides and everted rim. Swatow type. There is a marine compass in red, turquoise and black overglaze enamels in the centre of the interior, the characters 'tai ji' (supreme ultimate), others representing the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Terrestrial Branches, a fish, wave, and boat on the cavetto, and eight Trigrams around the rim.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 16thC-17thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 90 millimetres
    • Diameter: 388 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        In the centre
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        太極
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Tai ji
      • Inscription Translation

        The Ultimate Principle
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Wanli 1573-1620Room 95 label text:

    PDF 700

    Dish with flying phoenix


    Merchants traded such dishes to countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia as well as to Japan and Holland. They are characterised by coarse sandy bases. The designs are all rendered in free and spontaneous brushstrokes. In the centre of this dish is a marine compass with the characters太極 'tai ji' (supreme ultimate) and others representing the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Terrestrial Branches. There is a fish and wave pattern with a boat in the cavetto and the Eight Trigrams around the rim.


    Porcelain with polychrome overglaze enamels
    Zhangzhou (‘Swatow’) ware
    Pinghe county, Zhangzhou prefecture, Fujian province, 福建省, 漳州, 平和縣
    Ming dynasty, about AD1573–1620

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Feng 2006 p.15, no.700 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.40, no.121 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc29/sh2

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.700

Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish with deep rounded sides and everted rim. Swatow type, with red, turquoise and black overglaze enamels. Marine compass in centre, with the characters 'tai ji' (supreme ultimate) and others representing the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Terrestrial Branches. Fish, wave pattern and boat in the cavetto. Eight Trigrams around rim.

Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish with deep rounded sides and everted rim. Swatow type, with red, turquoise and black overglaze enamels. Marine compass in centre, with the characters 'tai ji' (supreme ultimate) and others representing the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Terrestrial Branches. Fish, wave pattern and boat in the cavetto. Eight Trigrams around rim.

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Object reference number: RRC39033

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