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Updated: 27 April 2015
Porcelain bowl. Decorated in green and yellow on-biscuit enamels. Inside, incised dragon among clouds in green against yellow ground. Outside, incised and painted bamboo, prunus and pine, each forming character: fu (happiness), lu (emolument) and shou (longevity). Colourless glaze on base, with mark.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 86 millimetres
- Diameter: 175 millimetres
Inscription CommentSix-character Jiajing mark in underglaze blue on the base
Published PDF date : Ming Jiajing 1522-1566Room 95 label text:
Bowl with the Three Friends of Winter
This bowl is decorated in green and yellow enamels. Inside there is an incised dragon among clouds in green against a yellow ground. Outside, incised and painted bamboo, prunus and pine, each forming character: 福 (fu ‘happiness’), 錄 (lu ‘emolument’) and 壽 (shou ‘longevity’). The base has a six-character underglaze cobalt-blue Jiajing reign mark. Chinese people read this design of pine, bamboo and prunus as the 歲寒三友 (suihan sanyou ‘The Three Friends of Winter’). Pine trees are evergreen and grow for a long time, representing stability and longevity; bamboo, another evergreen, symbolises the educated Confucian, an ideal gentleman-scholar who should be like a bamboo stem, bending not breaking in adverse conditions; and the plum stands for purity as well as leadership, as it is the first flower to bloom in China in the New Year.
Porcelain with incised decoration, underglaze cobalt-blue mark and green and yellow enamels
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
Ming dynasty, Jiajing mark and period, AD 1522–1566
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Object reference number: RRC39648
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