Bowl with eight trigrams

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 4

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

  • Geography

    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
  • Material

    Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze
  • Dimension

    H x Diam: 6.9 x 12 cm (2 11/16 x 4 3/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Bowl with everted rim on raised foot.
    Cobalt blue pigment under clear glaze. Double blue ring inside lip rim. Double blue ring inside well at bottom surface of cup enclosing the taiji (yin yang) symbol. Exterior decorated with a diaper of waves around the underside above the foot and symbols of the Eight Trigrams directly under the rim.
    Mark: Six character mark within a double blue ring under the raised foot.
  • Marks

    Six character mark: da qing Kangxi nian zhi.
    Six character mark: da qing Kangxi nian zhi.
  • Provenance

    From at least 1884 to 1925
    Alfred Edward Hippisley (1848-1939), acquired in China in the period of 1876-1884 [1]
    Sale, New York, Anderson Galleries, The Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelain formed by Alfred E. Hippisley: Exhibited 1887-1912 at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, January 30, 1925, lot 191: “A pair of bowls” [2]
    Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc., New York [3]
    In 1995
    J. J. Lally & Co. Oriental Art, New York, from at least January 11, 1995 [4]
    From 1995
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from J. J. Lally & Co. Oriental Art, New York on October 8, 1995 [5]
    [1] Alfred Edward Hippisley acquired the bowl while serving as Commissioner of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service in Shanghai and Beijing between 1876 and 1884, see “Preface,” in Anderson Galleries, The Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelain formed by Alfred E. Hippisley (New York, January 30, 1925), np.
    Hippisley’s collection was exhibited at the National Museum (later Smithsonian Institution) in Washington DC in the years 1887-1912.
    A descriptive catalogue of the collection was published first in the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1887-88 and later republished in Alfred E. Hippisley, Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China, with a Catalogue of the Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelains (Washington, DC, 1902).
    The catalogue listed the bowl together with its pair as cats. 42, 43.
    In 1888 and again in 1909, Hippisley offered the collection to the National Museum, but the institution declined, see A. Hippisley to G. Brown Goode, Assistant Secretary, Smithsonian Institution (SI), December 22, 1883; G. Brown Goode to A. Hippisley, January 20, 1889; A. Hippisley to W. H. Holmes, Head Curator, Department of Anthropology, SI, September 20, 1909; A. Hippisley to R. Rathburn, Assistant Secretary, SI, November 17, 1909, copies in object file.
    [2] Lot 191 included two objects catalogued as “Pair of two bowls, Decoration: outside, a band of waves above foot, with the pa-Kwa or eight diagrams (see No. 26) above; inside, within a double circle, emblematic of the Ultimate Principle of Being, the Yir and Yun, the positive and negative Primordial Essences. All in deep blue under glaze. Mark: ‘Made during Kang-hsi period of Ching dynasty.’” The lot was sold for $40.
    [3] According to a note on an undated document from J.J. Lally & Co., the object was at the Chait Galleries in New York, date unknown.
    It is known that Ralph M. Chait gallery handled objects from the Hippisley collection and exhibited the Hippisley porcelains in March 1935, although it is uncertain whether F1995.8 was among exhibited items.
    [4] See document listing the bowl for approval for sale or return from J.J. Lally & Co., dated January 11, 1995, in object file.
    [5] See Purchase Order, dated to October 8, 1995, copy in object file.
    Following its acquisition, the bowl has been exhibited in “Daoism in the Arts in China,” December 16, 2006 - June 10, 2007, Freer Gallery of Art and "Looking Out, Looking In - Art in Late Imperial China," October 14, 2017 - July 15, 2018, Freer Gallery of Art.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Daoism in the Arts in China (December 16, 2006 to July 1, 2007)
    Alfred E. Hippisley Collection (1887-1912)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Alfred Edward Hippisley (1848-1939)
    Anderson Galleries
    Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc.
    J.J. Lally & Co. Oriental Art
  • Origin

    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 13: Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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