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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.664

  • Description

    Porcelain dish with low sides and everted mouth rim. There is a roundel of the 'Three Friends of Winter' (pine, plum and bamboo) in underglaze cobalt blue in the centre, a band of trellis patterns around the rim, and scrolling lotus flowers and a lappet band on the exterior. There is a mark on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 31 millimetres
    • Diameter: 174 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明萬里年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Wanli nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Ming dynasty, Wanli reign
      • Inscription Comment

        Wanli
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF 664

    Blue-and-white dish with the ‘Three Friends of Winter’


    Chinese people read this design of pine, bamboo and prunus as the 歲寒三友 (suihan sanyou ‘The Three Friends of Winter’). Pine trees are evergreen and grow for a long time, representing stability and longevity; bamboo, another evergreen, symbolises the educated Confucian, an ideal gentleman-scholar who should be like a bamboo stem, bending not breaking in adverse conditions; and the plum stands for purity as well as leadership, as it is the first flower to bloom in China in the New Year. There is a six character Wanli reign mark in a rectangular frame on the base.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 164 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2001 p. 49, no. 43 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.27, no.664, pl.III bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.39, no.664 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case20/sh2

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.664

Porcelain dish with low sides and everted mouth rim decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Roundel of the Three Friends of Winter (pine, plum and bamboo) in centre, with band of trellis patterns around the rim. Scrolling lotus flowers and lappet band on exterior. Mark on base.

Porcelain dish with low sides and everted mouth rim decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Roundel of the Three Friends of Winter (pine, plum and bamboo) in centre, with band of trellis patterns around the rim. Scrolling lotus flowers and lappet band on exterior. Mark on base.

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Object reference number: RRC38999

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