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bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.619

  • Description

    Porcelain bowl with the Three Friends of Winter (pines, prunus and bamboo) in underglaze blue. Horizontal inscription below the rim.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 107 millimetres
    • Diameter: 295 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Xuande mark written horizontally beneath two parallel blue lines
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming XuandeRoom 95 label text:

    PDF B619

    Bowl painted with the Three Friends of Winter


    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. There is a six-character horizontal Xuande reign mark in underglaze blue below the rim.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD1426–35

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Pierson 2001 p. 49, no. 42 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.57, no.B619, pl.XI bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.74, no.62 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.81, no.B619 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case18/sh6

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.619

Porcelain bowl of woshiwan (nest-shaped) form. Underglaze blue with wide band around the sides depicting the Three Friends of Winter (pines, prunus and bamboo). Horizontal inscription below the rim.

Porcelain bowl of woshiwan (nest-shaped) form. Underglaze blue with wide band around the sides depicting the Three Friends of Winter (pines, prunus and bamboo). Horizontal inscription below the rim.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39889

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