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fish-bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.778

  • Description

    Porcelain fish bowl with slightly rounded sides, thickened rim and a flat base. There are scenes of ducks and herons on a riverbank and waves wirth lotus and waterweeds in wucai style with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze enamel on the exterior, overlapping petals around the base, and a band of scrolls at the rim. There is a mark in underglaze blue at the interior rim.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1567-1572
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 378 millimetres
    • Diameter: 552 millimetres
    • Weight: 32.3 kilograms
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        below the rim
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明隆慶年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Longqing nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Ming dynasty, Longqing reign
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Longqing mark written horizontally in underglaze blue inside below the rim
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Longqing 1567-1572Room 95 label text:

    PDF 778

    Large vat for fish and aquatic plants


    The Longqing emperor ruled for just six years. During his reign, the imperial kilns were supervised by a succession of local magistrates with no official staying in post for long. Jingdezhen suffered severe flooding during his reign and in AD1571 the kilns were devastated by fire. Potters fired this large vat twice painting some of the design in underglaze blue and then firing it again with overglaze red, yellow, aubergine and green to complete the design. The Longqing emperor used such vats as aquaria and to grow water plants. Scenes of ducks swimming on a river or in a pond are shown on one side with herons preening themselves on the other and lotus and other water plants between.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue and overglaze enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Longqing period, AD1567–72There is an identical vat in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh A.1919.406

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  • Bibliography

    • Hobson 1934 p. 127, pl. CXXVI bibliographic details
    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.21, no.21 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.31, no.80, pl.VII bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.44, no.778 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.86, no.80 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case39

  • Science

    See investigations 

    Reason for analysis

    AR

    Analysis title

    Sampling and analysis of paint? On a 'fish bowl' in the PDF collection (PDF.778)

    Analysis outline

    No Report

    Analysis reference number

    AR2009-12

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: Acquired from Yamanaka in 1931.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.778

Porcelain fish bowl with slightly rounded sides, thickened rim and a flat base. Decorated in wucai style with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze enamels. Scenes of ducks and herons on a riverbank and waves wirth lotus and waterweeds around the outside. Overlapping petals around the base and a thickened band of scrolls at the rim. Mark on inside near the rim in underglaze blue.

Porcelain fish bowl with slightly rounded sides, thickened rim and a flat base. Decorated in wucai style with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze enamels. Scenes of ducks and herons on a riverbank and waves wirth lotus and waterweeds around the outside. Overlapping petals around the base and a thickened band of scrolls at the rim. Mark on inside near the rim in underglaze blue.

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Object reference number: RRC39110

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