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ewer

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.617

  • Description

    Covered porcelain ewer with teardrop-shaped body. Underglaze blue with teardrop-shaped panel on each side containing boys playing in a garden, with a donkey and a hobby horse. Flower and fruit sprays around the sides of panels. Flower sprays around the lid with a band of ruyi heads at base of knop. There is an inscription on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1522-1566 (ewer)
    • 1736-1795 (cover)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 292 millimetres
    • Width: 246 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Jiajing mark in underglaze blue on the base
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming JiajingRoom 95 label text:

    PDF B617

    Covered ewer with eight boys at play


    Cobalt pigment used for imperial wares during the second half of the sixteenth century has a distinctive strong, dark, and even tone. Here it is used skilfully to depict scenes of boys processing in gardens, framed within peach-shaped panels, on either side. A smiling boy, wearing an official’s hat, is shown riding a hobby horse. He is playing at being a successful scholar-official, mounted on a horse, accompanied by three smaller boys who play the part of his servants. One carries a lotus leaf as a parasol to shade him from the sun; another carries a stool in case he tires of riding or perhaps to help him mount the horse; and the third proclaims his arrival with a stick. On the other side, a boy is shown riding a goat which is being led by its bridle, while another boy walks alongside and a fourth brandishes a flying banner. Chinese people regard genre scenes of children playing as auspicious, representing a wish for many sons. The number eight is also lucky in China.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Jiajing mark and period, AD1522–66 cover Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, AD1736–95

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 63 and p. 313 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2001 p. 47, no. 40 bibliographic details
    • Hobson, Rackham & King 1931 p.174, Fig. 318 bibliographic details
    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.30, no.51 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 p.78, no.39 (p.94, mark on base) bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.80, no.70 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.80, no.B617, reign mark, p.117 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 pp 56-57, no.B617, pl.XI bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004A pp 86-86, no. 35 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case57-3

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Hobson, Rackham and King 1931 record in the Charles Russell Collection. PDF card: Charles Russell Collection

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.617

Covered porcelain ewer with teardrop-shaped body. Underglaze blue with teardrop-shaped panel on each side containing boys playing in a garden, with a donkey and a hobby horse. Flower and fruit sprays around the sides of panels. Flower sprays around the lid with a  band of ruyi heads at base of knop. Inscription on base.

Covered porcelain ewer with teardrop-shaped body. Underglaze blue with teardrop-shaped panel on each side containing boys playing in a garden, with a donkey and a hobby horse. Flower and fruit sprays around the sides of panels. Flower sprays around the lid with a band of ruyi heads at base of knop. Inscription on base.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39887

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