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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.771

  • Description

    Swatow-type Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish. Decorated in red, turquoise, green and black overglaze enamels. Central design of mariner's compass motif, with Island of Bliss landscape above, galleon to the right and fish in aquatic plants and waves to left. Four circular medallions round rim, each enclosing a character , 'yuan lai jin yue' ('Coming from afar, they approached with pleasure'). In between, floral panels flanked by sprays and parrots. Base roughly glazed.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 16thC-17thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 81 millimetres
    • Diameter: 369 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        inside dish
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        近悅遠來
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Jin yue yuan lai
      • Inscription Translation

        Pleased to have arrived whether from far or near
      • Inscription Comment

        The words were quoted from Lunyu (Analects of Confucius), '近者說[悅],遠者來', and mean 'the near one is joyful, the far one is please to come'.
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Wanli (1573-1620) late 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A771

    Dish with a map-style design


    This heavily potted and crudely painted dish was made for export in the Chinese coastal province of Fujian. Merchants traded them to countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia as well as to Japan and Holland. They are characterised by coarse sandy bases and designs rendered in free and spontaneous brushstrokes. This example is painted with a map-style design showing ships, a compass and sea monsters. The characters in the cavetto are read together 近悅遠來 (jin yue yuan lai 'pleased to have arrived whether from far or near’).


    Porcelain with overglaze turquoise, red and black enamels
    Zhangzhou (‘Swatow’) ware
    Pinghe county, Zhangzhou prefecture, Fujian province, 福建省, 漳州, 平和縣
    Ming dynasty, about AD1573–1620

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 69 and p. 314 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.39, no.118, pl.XI bibliographic details
    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.40, no.86 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.78, no.73 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 pp 69-70, no.A771 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case29/sh3

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.771

Swatow-type Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish. Decorated in red, turquoise, green and black overglaze enamels. Central design of mariner's compass motif, with Island of Bliss landscape above, galleon to the right and fish in aquatic plants and waves to left. Four circular medallions round rim, each enclosing a character , 'yuan lai jin yue' ('Coming from afar, they approached with pleasure'). In between, floral panels flanked by sprays and parrots. Base roughly glazed.

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