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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.686

  • Description

    Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with wide band of lotus sprays alternating with roundels containing Arabic characters beneath narrow diaper band. Roundel in centre with four lotus sprays circling another smaller roundel with an Arabic inscription. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1506-1521
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 35 millimetres
    • Diameter: 156 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Comment

        Zhengde
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        inside and outside
      • Inscription Language

        Arabic
      • Inscription Translation

        The central roundel reads qala Ali ‘Ali says’ and the roundels on the back read 1. Allah ‘God’ ; 2. izhar ‘revelation’; 3. al-ghani: ‘the wealthy one’ [of the 99 names of God]; 4. aman or amana: ‘safety/peace or he is safe/faithful’; 5. al-shukr ‘thanks’; 6. rahma ‘mercy’. Together this reads ‘the mercy of God, the revelation of the wealthy one, the peace of gratitude’. Dr Venetia Porter suggests it may be a quotation from the tradition of Imam Ali.
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Zhengde 1506-1521Room 95 label text:

    PDF B686

    Dish with Arabic script


    Most of the Zhengde porcelains with Arabic inscriptions are heavily-potted items for the scholar-administrator’s desk. This saucer-dish belongs to the rarer, type of finely-potted tablewares. Difficulties in deciphering these inscriptions are ascribed to the fact that the Chinese porcelain painters were writing in an unfamiliar script. The central roundel reads qala Ali ‘Ali says’ and the roundels on the back read 1. Allah ‘God’ ; 2. izhar ‘revelation’; 3. al-ghani: ‘the wealthy one’ [of the 99 names of God]; 4. aman or amana: ‘safety/peace or he is safe/faithful’; 5. al-shukr ‘thanks’; 6. rahma ‘mercy’. Together this reads ‘the mercy of God, the revelation of the wealthy one, the peace of gratitude’. Dr Venetia Porter suggests it may be a quotation from the tradition of Imam Ali.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Zhengde mark and period, AD 1506–21

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.35, no.72, mark p.47 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.70, no.B686, pl.XV bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.96, no.B686 (reign mark, p.116) bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case57-2

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    20 March 2009

    Treatment proposal

    Clean crack.

    Condition

    Curved dirty crack running down from the rim. Although the crack runs through the body of the ceramic as well as the glaze at the top, the crack continues down into the body into the saucer but there is no fracture in the glaze. Hence the dirt is trapped beneath the glaze.

    Treatment details

    Poulticed with *LAPRD* mixed with distilled water and acetone. Covered with cling film to slow down evaporation.

    Poulticed with Ariel mixed with distilled water. Covered with cling film to slow down evaporation.

    Steam cleaned using distilled water; run off dirt and water absorbed into soft tissue paper.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Margaret Medley 1976 records: From the Major L. F. Hay Collection. PDF card: Major L. F. Hay Collection

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.686

Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with wide band of lotus sprays alternating with roundels containing Arabic characters beneath narrow diaper band. Roundel in centre with four lotus sprays circling another smaller roundel with an Arabic inscription. Inscription on base.

Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with wide band of lotus sprays alternating with roundels containing Arabic characters beneath narrow diaper band. Roundel in centre with four lotus sprays circling another smaller roundel with an Arabic inscription. Inscription on base.

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Object reference number: RRC39950

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