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  • Description

    Porcelain dish with rounded sides and wide rim. There is a roundel of two fish among waterweeds in underglaze cobalt blue in the centre, and fish among waterweeds on the exterior. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 38 millimetres
    • Diameter: 181 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        On the base and interior
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        萬曆年造; 德化長春; 慶
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Wanli nian zao; qing
      • Inscription Translation

        Virtue, culture and forever spring; blessings
      • Inscription Comment

        On the base, inscriptions 'Wanli nian zao' (made in the Wanli reign) and Dehua changchun (Virtue, culture and forever spring). On the interior, 'qing' (blessings) has been cut into the glaze
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF 663

    Dish with fish and coin-style mark

    Cobalt pigment used for imperial wares during the second half of the sixteenth century has a distinctive strong, dark, and even tone. This dish is painted with two fish swimming among water weeds inside and with further fish and aquatic plants outside. Chinese people regard paired fish as a rebus (visual pun) for abundance as the words for both fish 魚 and abundance 餘, are pronounced yu. On the base is a mark arranged like a Chinese coin with a square hole in the centre surrounded by a circle with the phrases萬曆年造 (Wanli nian zao ‘Made in the Wanli reign’) and德化長春 (De hua chang chun ‘Virtue, culture and eternal spring (youth)). Inside the character慶Qing (literally blessings) has been carved through the glaze.

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


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1976 p.26, no.663, pl.III bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 pp 38-39, no.663 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Acquisition name

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Porcelain saucer with rounded sides and wide rim, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Roundel of two fish among waterweeds in centre, and fish among waterweeds on exterior. Inscription on base.

Porcelain saucer with rounded sides and wide rim, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Roundel of two fish among waterweeds in centre, and fish among waterweeds on exterior. Inscription on base.

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Object reference number: RRC38998

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