Zhangzhou ware dish with design of deer in a landscape

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

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At A Glance

  • Period

    late 16th-early 17th century
  • Geography

    Zhangzhou kilns, Fujian province, China
  • Material

    Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear, colorless glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W: 9.8 x 39.7 cm (3 7/8 x 15 5/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Dish, deep with foliate rim (16 units), low foot slanted inward. Coarse grit encrusts foot rim and is scattered on small areas of base and lower body.
    Clay: white porcelain, resonant.
    Glaze: clear, feldspathic, very fine bubbles, all-over application, rather thick and uneven, giving a "lardy" appearance typical of "Swatow" ware. In this case, the appearance is more refined, the unevenness and wavy surface less marked than is characteristic of the "Swatow" type of export wares. Small amount of wear abrasion.
    Decoration: well-painted in underglaze cobalt blue of good quality in outline and wash. Inside, encircled by a double line, a central landscape scene with two deer lying under a pine tree, and with rocks, plant forms and clouds in typical 16th century conventionization filling the area. Four flower sprays (unidentified) are widely spaced in the surrounding band. Above a double line is a border of ten compartments, each containing a formal blossom, framed by foliate scrolls. A top line defines rim foliation. Areas of concentration of cobalt occur in framing lines, which show poor control of the flow of the pigment, at the ends of detail lines and in deliberate dotting of the deer forms. The latter is said to reproduce "heaped and piled" effect of earlier blue and white wares. The surface, characteristically, is pitted or depressed over these areas. Some smearing of the blue has occurred in a few places, apparently from handling before glazing. Outside, the painting is careless. One of the double lines near base is unfinished. Near rim, widely spaced and alternating are two simple flowers, two beribboned lozenges (one of the Pa-pao symbols) and three circular flourishes. A line defines the rim foliation.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Chinese Ceramics (March 15, 1982 to July 10, 1986)
    A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980 (November 9, 1979 to May 22, 1980)
    Chinese Ceramics (April 11, 1978 to September 4, 1980)
  • Origin

    Zhangzhou kilns, Fujian province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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