Swatow-type Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish. Decorated in red, turquoise and black overglaze enamels. In centre, Chinese mariner's compass motif enclosing characters Tai ji (supreme ultimate), surrounded by two dragons and two flying phoenixes among waves and flames in turquoise washes. Four roundels on diaper ground around rim, alternating with four floral panels.
- Made in: Zhangzhou
- (Asia,China,Fujian (province),Zhangzhou)
- Height: 85 millimetres
- Diameter: 385 millimetres
Inscription PositionIn the centre
Inscription TransliterationTai ji
Inscription TranslationThe Ultimate Principle
Inscription CommentIn the centre 'taiji' (the Ultimate Principle), around the outer edge are 24 characters taken from the Ten Celestial Stems, the Twelve Terrestrial Branches and Eight Trigrams)
Published PDF date : Ming Wanli (1573-1620) late 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:
Dish with flying phoenix
Merchants traded such dishes 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. The designs are all rendered in free and spontaneous brushstrokes. In the centre of this dish is a marine compass with the characters太極 'tai ji' (supreme ultimate) surrounded by two dragons and two flying phoenixes among waves and flames.
Porcelain with polychrome overglaze 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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Object reference number: RRC39683
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