string(20) "edanmdm:fsg_F1952.22" Nancheng bottle with bluish glaze - National Museum of Asian Art

Nancheng bottle with bluish glaze

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    13th century
  • Geography

    Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, China
  • Material

    Porcelain with transparent pale-bluish (qingbai-type) glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W: 20.2 x 12.7 cm (7 15/16 x 5 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Vase: with broad rounded shoulder and cylindrical neck.
    Clay: coarse grained white porcelain with earth adhesions.
    Glaze: transparent with faint bluish tone and fine crackle.
    Decoration: in relief under glaze, molded lotus pattern below a row of stamped patterns on shoulder, horizontal fluting on body.
  • Provenance

    Reportedly excavated in Jingdezhen, China [1]
    ?-no later than 1945
    J. E. Melchior (1879-1945), method of acquisition unknown [2]
    At least 1951-1952
    Mathias Komor, New York, method of acquisition unknown [3]
    From 1952
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Mathias Komor, New York [4]
    [1] See H. W. Siegel and Helen D. Ling, “Ying Ching Porcelains of the Tang and Sung Dynasties: Collection of the Late J. E. Melchior” [catalog] (Published as manuscript by H. W. Siegel and Helen D. Ling, 1945), cat. 50, p. 21. On page 2 the authors noted “Almost all the Ying Ching pieces in the Melchior collection came from the same district. They are said to have been excavated from tombs at Lung-hu-shan in the neighborhood of the modern Ching-te-chen, Kiangsi [Jingdezhen, Jiangxi].”
    Jacob Emil Melchior, also known as J. E. Melchior, was a Danish businessman and collector of Chinese ceramics. He relocated to Shanghai for work about 1904, and by 1934 his collection held more than a thousand objects. When he began collecting, Melchior pursued examples of Ming porcelain, then expanded his collection to include examples from the Tang, Song, Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han Dynasties. After Melchior’s death, E. T. Chow, Helen D. Ling, and Hans W. Seigel each purchased part of his collection.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] See object file for shipment statement from Mathias Komor, dated May 17, 1951, showing that object no. N241 was sent to the Freer for examination from Komor’s, New York gallery. Mathias Komor was a Hungarian American dealer of Asian art and antiquities. He was a founding member of the Asia Society and a leading authority on Chinese antiquities, and he served as a consultant to several U. S. museums. Komor had a gallery on Madison Avenue in New York from 1941 until his retirement in 1983.
    [4] See object file for copy of Mathias Komor invoice to the Freer Gallery of Art, dated July 8, 1952, and approved by Acting Secretary J. E. Graf on February 14, 1952. Item N.241 is described as a “Very thinly potted vase, white body, covered with minutely crackled blue glaze.”
    Research updated August 21, 2023
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    The Peacock Room Comes to America [2022] (September 3, 2022 - ongoing)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Ceramics (March 7, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
    Centennial Exhibition, Gallery 13 (November 10, 1955 to March 1, 1957)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Jacob E. Melchior (1879-1945)
    Mathias Komor (1909-1984)
  • Origin

    Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 12: The Peacock Room Comes to America
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring