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shrine

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1929,0114.1

  • Description

    Porcelain shrine with moulded applied and incised decoration, biscuit-fired and gilded details and green glaze. This magnificent shrine is modelled in the form of three tiered niches within a rocky or cloud frame. The crescent-shaped base is decorated with relief cloud scrolls and the edges of the niches with applied swirling cloud or rock tendrils; at the top in the centre is a disc.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1406 (dated)
  • Production place

    • Made in: Longquan
    • (Asia,China,Zhejiang (province),Longquan Area,Longquan (county),Longquan (town))
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 50.3 centimetres
    • Width: 25 centimetres
    • Diameter: 17.5 centimetres
    • Weight: 6.9 kilograms
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        back
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        永樂丙戌楚節吉旦
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yongle bingxu Chujie jidan
      • Inscription Translation

        On an auspicious day of the Chu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) in the bingxu year of the Yongle reign (1406)
      • Inscription Comment

        incised before glazing
  • Bibliography

    • Harrison-Hall 2001 16:95 bibliographic details
    • Little 2000 cat. no. 105 bibliographic details
    • Vainker 1991 p.160; fig.119 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2000, Chicago Art Institute, 'Daoism and the Arts of China'
    2007 8 Feb-5 Aug, BM G91, 'Gods, Guardians and Immortals: Chinese Religious Paintings'
    2012 23 Oct-2013 03 Feb, Petit Palais, Paris, 'Dieu(x) - Modes d'Emploi'
    2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: 50 years that changed China'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1929

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1929,0114.1

Porcelain shrine modelled in the form of three tiered niches within a rocky or cloud frame. The crescent-shaped base decorated with relief cloud scrolls and the edges of the niches with applied swirling cloud or rock tendrils; at the top in the centre is a disc probably representing the sun. In the top niche a military figure, probably the popular god Zhenwu, is riding a mythical creature across the clouds. In the second tier three stellar deities are shown seated on rectangular thrones, two with long beards holding respectively a fan and ruyi sceptre, and the central figure with an openwork mandorla behind him. These may be identified as the San Qing [Three Purities], the three highest deities of the Daoist pantheon. In the centre is Yuanshi tianzun [the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Being], on the right is Lingbao tianzun [the Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure] holding a ruyi sceptre and on the left is Daode tianzun [the celestial Worthy of the Way and its Power] - the deified Laozi - holding a fan. The gods attended by two flanking acolytes Yu Nu [jade Maiden] and Jintong [Golden Lad]. In the lowest tier a central bearded deity seated on a throne is supported by two figures, and with smaller guardian figures. Behind the central figure is a dragon screen in moulded relief and in front slightly to the right is a tortoise with a snake on its back. The central figure may be identified as the Jade Emperor with Zhenwu to the right and another Daoist god to the left. The figures are all fired in the biscuit and gilded and the background covered in high-quality celadon glaze. The shrine is inscribed on the back: Yongle bing xu zao yin ji ri [Made on an auspicious day in the bing xu year of the Yongle period (AD 1406)].

Porcelain shrine modelled in the form of three tiered niches within a rocky or cloud frame. The crescent-shaped base decorated with relief cloud scrolls and the edges of the niches with applied swirling cloud or rock tendrils; at the top in the centre is a disc probably representing the sun. In the top niche a military figure, probably the popular god Zhenwu, is riding a mythical creature across the clouds. In the second tier three stellar deities are shown seated on rectangular thrones, two with long beards holding respectively a fan and ruyi sceptre, and the central figure with an openwork mandorla behind him. These may be identified as the San Qing [Three Purities], the three highest deities of the Daoist pantheon. In the centre is Yuanshi tianzun [the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Being], on the right is Lingbao tianzun [the Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure] holding a ruyi sceptre and on the left is Daode tianzun [the celestial Worthy of the Way and its Power] - the deified Laozi - holding a fan. The gods attended by two flanking acolytes Yu Nu [jade Maiden] and Jintong [Golden Lad]. In the lowest tier a central bearded deity seated on a throne is supported by two figures, and with smaller guardian figures. Behind the central figure is a dragon screen in moulded relief and in front slightly to the right is a tortoise with a snake on its back. The central figure may be identified as the Jade Emperor with Zhenwu to the right and another Daoist god to the left. The figures are all fired in the biscuit and gilded and the background covered in high-quality celadon glaze. The shrine is inscribed on the back: Yongle bing xu zao yin ji ri [Made on an auspicious day in the bing xu year of the Yongle period (AD 1406)].

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