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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Porcelain saucer-shaped dish with rounded sides and flat base. The dish has a fine white eggshell body. There is a landscape design of rocks, shrubs, flowering peony, dianthus pinks, and a pair of cockerels in dark brown, blue, and 'famille rose' palette enamel on the interior. Pair with PDF 847.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1720-1740
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 34 millimetres
    • Diameter: 157 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

        seal script
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        功名富貴 洪福齊天
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Gongming fugui hongfu qitian
      • Inscription Translation

        Riches and honour and abounding happiness
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Qing late 18thCRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 846

    Ruby-backed dish with cockerel

    A new opaque palette of overglaze colours developed in China around AD 1720. A new opaque white greatly increased the shades of colours available to the potters, and a new pink gave the overall palette a softer feel. Although pink, made using gold, was introduced from the West, European and Chinese craftsmen employed quite different recipes to achieve it. This group of egg-shell thin porcelains is known as ruby-backed wares because of the monochrome pink colour on their outer walls. The inscription in seal script on the back translates ‘Riches and Honour, abounding happiness reaching to Heaven’.

    Porcelain with fencai enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, about AD 1720–1740


  • Bibliography

    • Lady David 1973 no.846 not recorded bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p. 169, pl. CLXVIII bibliographic details
    • Scott 1991 p.34, no.846 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G95/dc33/sh2

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 June 2009

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Remove overpaint on back and on front. Reacess, if needed take down old repairs, reconstruct and repaint.


    The object has been restored in the past. It has been reconstructed and painted. The joins are not acuarate and there is overpaint on many areas of the surface which has yellowed.

    Treatment details

    The object was first examined under UV light. The waxy over paint was removed from both sides of the dish (including the detail with the chicken) with a scalpel and acetone swabs. After removing the over paint it was found that the dish had various fills. Nitromors acetone soluble (methylene chloride,sodium hydroxide) was placed on joins and fills to dismantle the dish; the Nitromors was then cleaned with cold water and paper towels. Afterwards all the fragments were steam cleaned with de-ionised water to remove ingrained dirt and any residues of Nitromors left. All fragments were dried with paper towels and were allowed to dry fully for more than a week under a cover to prevent dirt and dust contaminating the cleaned fragments.

    This first stage of conservation was done by Kathleen Magill.

    Once the fragments were dried, the dish was reconstructed with magic tape, Fynebond epoxy resin mixed with a small amount of Zinc white was applied by capillary action on the joins with a micropipette. The resin was left to dry and after two days the excess of adhesive was removed with acetone applied with cotton swabs. Once the dish was reconstructed a silcon rubber mould was made in order to fill the large gap in the body of the dish. Two moulds were made one from the front of the plate and the other from the back of the plate which had the texture of the outside walls, the silicon rubber was bulked with talk to make it harder.

    The mould of the back of the plate was put in place with masking tape and a very thin fill was made with Fynebond epoxy resin which was bulked heavily with Aerosil 805 fumed silica and coloured with artists' dry ground pigments to achieve the outer pinkish layer of the dish, the resin was applied with a small metal spatula. Once this layer was dried, a slightly thicker layer of a neutral whitish colour was applied over the pinkish layer to achieve the base colour of the inside of the dish, then the silicon rubber mould from the front of the dish was placed over the fill to achieve a smooth texture. Other areas with gaps were also filled with Fynebond epoxy resin which was bulked heavily with Aerosil 805 fumed silica and coloured with artists' dry ground pigments.

    This second stage of conservation was done by Sarahi Naidorf.

    The fills which had been carried out previously were shaped and polished to a smooth surface in preparation for decoration. Fynebond resin mixed with dry powdered artists pigments were used to decorate the surface this was applied with a selection of artists, fine, sable brushes. Another almost identical dish was used so that the surface decoration could be copied. Shadows, due to the refractive index of the material, appeared along the break edges, this meant that some of the fills had to be cut right back and the colour adjusted. This was carried out in the same method as the initial filling process. Any fine adjustments to the final colour were made using acrylic paints. When all of the material was fully dry the fills were polished to match that of the original.

    This third stage of conservation was done by Janet Wilson

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson 1934 records: From the Pierpont Morgan Collection. PDF card: J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, New York. No. G 13.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Object during conservation 2009

Object during conservation 2009

Image description



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