Porcelain bowl. The bowl has a fine white body. There are prunus trees in blossom painted in sepia, a poem of ten characters in black, and three seals in pink enamel on the exterior. A pair with PDF 827.
- Made in: Jingdezhen (Painted in Beijing)
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 63 millimetres
- Diameter: 127 millimetres
Inscription Positionon sides
Inscription Content月幌見踈影, 墨池聞暗香
Inscription Transliterationyue huang jian shu ying; mo chi wen an xiang
Inscription TranslationThe moon ripples (and I) see the shadow of a branch moving; at the ink-black pool you can smell the secret fragrance’
Inscription CommentStephen Allee translates:
On the moonlit curtain, one sees their scattered shadows,
By the ink-stained pond, one smells their dark fragrance.notes:
"I believe that the term yuehuang 月幌 (moonlit curtain) refers to a curtain or cloth screen on which the shadows of plum blossoms are cast by moonlight – which was the original inspiration for the tradition of painting this subject in ink.
The term mochi 墨池 (ink pond) refers to the pond where Wang Xizhi cleaned his brushes and inkstone, turning the water black. From this, the term came to be used as a reference to: 1. an inkstone; 2. the place where one practices calligraphy (or ink painting); or 3. a writing/painting brush made with lamb’s wool for the inner core and rabbit fur for the outside.
The terms shuying 踈影 (scattered shadows) and anxiang 暗香 (dark fragrance) are descriptive of plum blossoms and derive from a poem by the famous plum fancier, Lin Bu林逋 (967–1028), who wrote numerous poems on the subject.
Peter Y.K. Lam notes that:
This poem is unidentified, it is not included in the Peiwenzhai collection.
Inscription Typereign mark
Inscription Positionon base
Inscription TransliterationYongzheng nian zhi
Inscription TranslationMade in the Yonghzeng reign
Inscription Content先春'; '壽古'; '香清'
Inscription Transliterationxianchun, shougu, and xiangqing
Inscription TranslationEarly spring; very ancient; fragrance pure
Published PDF date : Qing Yongzheng 1723-1735Room 95 label text:
Bowl with prunus flowers and poems
Under court instructions, this bowl was decorated in shades of black enamel with winter-flowering plum trees, a ten character poem and with three puce enamel seals. Sir Percival David bought them from Alfred E. Hippisley (AD 1848–1939), a British Customs official in China who translated the poems in AD1900. A century later, the poem月幌見踈影, 墨池聞暗香 (yue huang jian shu ying; mo chi wen an xiang) translates more literally as ‘The moon ripples (and I) see the shadow of a branch moving; at the ink-black pool you can smell the secret fragrance’. The seal before the poems reads 先春 (xian chun ‘early spring’); and the two after the poem read 古月(guyue ‘ancient moon’); and 香清 (xiang qing ‘pure fragrance’). The winter-flowering plum design derives from traditional and contemporary Qing ink painting. On the base is a four-character Yongzheng mark in a double square in blue enamel.
Porcelain with transparent glaze made in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, overglaze enamels added in Beijing
素瓷器: 江西景德鎮燒製; 北京加琺瑯彩
Qing dynasty, Yongzheng mark and period, AD1723–35
R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: From the Hippisley Collection.See Hippisley "A Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China", p.406, Nos.328 and 329 where the poem is translated. PDF card: Acquired in the U.S.A. for $3000 in 1925 with PDF 827. Previous owner: Hippisley Collection.
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Object reference number: RRC39160
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