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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.709

  • Description

    Swatow-type Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish. Decorated with overglaze turquoise, black and red enamels. Central motif inside of 'split pagoda' design. Four panels in cavetto, each enclosing a landscape scene, alternating with four indecipherable red seal character impressions. Outside undecorated, base splashed with glaze.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 86 millimetres
    • Diameter: 398 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Room 95 label text:

    PDF A709

    Dish depicting the path to the island of the Immortals


    This heavily potted and crudely painted dish was made for export in the Chinese coastal province of Fujian. Collectors and scholars called such porcelains ‘Swatow’ wares after an old Dutch transliteration of Shantou, a port in northern Guangong province, mistakenly believed to have been the port from which they were shipped. 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.


    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 1978 p.39, no.117 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.52, no.A709 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006a pp 116-117, no. 49 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case29/sh4

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.709

Swatow-type Zhangzhou Export Ware porcelain dish. Decorated with overglaze turquoise, black and red enamels. Central motif inside of 'split pagoda' design. Four panels in cavetto, each enclosing a landscape scene, alternating with four indecipherable red seal character impressions. Outside undecorated, base splashed with glaze.

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Object reference number: RRC39616

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