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.
- Made in: Zhangzhou
- (Asia,China,Fujian (province),Zhangzhou)
- Height: 86 millimetres
- Diameter: 398 millimetres
Room 95 label text:
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
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: RRC39616
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.