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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Porcelain bowl. The bowl has a white body. There is a grass script deeply incised in the well and around the exterior.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 17thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 51 millimetres
    • Diameter: 154 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        Interior and exterior
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        天子呼不來,自稱 酒中仙
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Tianzi hu bulai, zicheng jiu zhong xian
      • Inscription Translation

        Disregarding the Emperor's wishes and calling himself an immortal of the Wine-cup
      • Inscription Comment

        Inscribed on the interior from a poem by Du Fu, 'Tianzi hu bulai, zicheng jiu zhong xian' (disregarding the Emperor's wishes and calling himself an immortal of the Wine-cup). Inscribed on the exterior, a poem by Li Bai
  • Curator's comments

    Room 95 label text:

    PDF A460

    Bowl with inscribed Tang dynasty poems

    Learning to write poetry was an important part of education in China. Some of the finest poetry was written in Classical Chinese in the Tang dynasty. The most famous of these are李白Li Bai (AD 701–762) and 杜甫 Du Fu (AD 712–70). Li Bai retreated from court life. About 1,100 of his poems survive today. He was famous for his untrammelled spirit and love of wine. Du Fu is celebrated as a poet of Chinese history. This bowl is incised with a Li Bai poem inside and one by Du Fu outside.

    Porcelain with incised decoration and transparent glaze
    Dehua ware 德化窯
    Dehua, Fujian province 德化, 福建省
    Ming dynasty or Qing dynasty, about AD 1600–1700


  • Location

    On display: G95/dc34/sh1

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: S. D. Winkworth Collection. Purchased by Sir Percival David from Bluett & Sons on 27th April 1933. Purchased at Sotheby's, 25th-26th April 1933. Bluett's purchased this pair of bowls at Sotheby's, 25th-26th April 1933, from the Stephen D. Winkworth Collection Sale. Listed in Bluett & Sons Sales Day Book (SDB) vol. 14, p.206, Lot 184. £8.10.

  • Department


  • Registration number


White porcelain bowl. Deeply incised grass script in the well and around the outside.

White porcelain bowl. Deeply incised grass script in the well and around the outside.

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Object reference number: RRC39358

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