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writing-box

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.611

  • Description

    Rectangular writing porcelain box. Underglaze blue with primary scene in ogival panel on cover of a scholar seated in front of a screen with attendants. Similar scenes in rectangular panels around sides, on dense diaper ground. Large spray of five flowers and leaves . Large fruiting tree on bank of a river on lower inside part. There is an inscription on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 88 millimetres
    • Width: 308 millimetres
    • Depth: 217 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on the base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明萬里年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Wanli nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Great Ming dynasty Wanli reign
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming WanliRoom 95 label text:

    PDF B611

    Box and cover with figure scenes


    This rectangular box, constructed from thick slabs of porcelain clay, has a cover which fits over the sides of its tray and rests on the top of the protruding rectangular base. It is decorated on the cover with a scholar seated in front of a screen with attendants in a garden, and around the sides with related scenes of scholars and their servants. Potters at Jingdezhen used a wider range of figural subjects in the sixteenth century than in earlier times. Although most potters would have been illiterate, this increase in the diversity of figural scenes may indirectly be a response to the wider circulation of illustrated woodblock-printed stories, novels and plays written in the easier to understand vernacular, as opposed to classical, Chinese.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD1573–1620

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  • Bibliography

    • Hobson, Rackham & King 1931 Colour Plate 25 (pp 176 & 177) bibliographic details
    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.31, no.56, mark p.47 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.55, no.B611, pl.X bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.69, no.54 (and lid) bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.78, no.B611, reign mark, p.118 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004A pp 92-93, no. 38 (Back cover illustration: detail) bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case57-3

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Hobson, Rackham and King 1931 record in the Charles Russell Collection. PDF card: Acquired via Sotheby 6 June 1935 lot 87, Yamanaka £180. Charles Russell Collection.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.611

Rectangular writing porcelain box. Underglaze blue  with primary scene in ogival panel on cover of a scholar seated in front of a screen with attendants. Similar scenes in rectangular panels around sides, on dense diaper ground. Large spray of five flowers and leaves . Large fruiting tree on bank of a river on lower inside part. Inscription on base.

Rectangular writing porcelain box. Underglaze blue with primary scene in ogival panel on cover of a scholar seated in front of a screen with attendants. Similar scenes in rectangular panels around sides, on dense diaper ground. Large spray of five flowers and leaves . Large fruiting tree on bank of a river on lower inside part. Inscription on base.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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