Dish

Blue-and-white.
Clay: fine white porcelain.
Glaze: plain, transparent.
Decoration: in underglaze cobalt blue; “the three friends” in center inside, garden scene with figures outside.
Six-character Ch’eng-hua mark in blue on base.
One of a pair with F1951.10 – 51.11. (The dishes can be called a pair in the sense that they came into the collection together, but this does not imply they were made or fired as a pair).

Historical period(s)
Ming or Qing dynasty, 1465-87, or possibly 18th century
Medium
Porcelain with cobalt under colorless glaze
Style
Jingdezhen ware
Dimensions
H x Diam: 4.4 × 20.1 cm (1 3/4 × 7 15/16 in)
Geography
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1951.11
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Dish

Keywords
China, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), porcelain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Blue-and-white.
Clay: fine white porcelain.
Glaze: plain, transparent.
Decoration: in underglaze cobalt blue; "the three friends" in center inside, garden scene with figures outside.
Six-character Ch'eng-hua mark in blue on base.
One of a pair with F1951.10 - 51.11. (The dishes can be called a pair in the sense that they came into the collection together, but this does not imply they were made or fired as a pair).

Marking(s)

Six-character Ch'eng-hua mark in blue on base

Label

This dish is very similar to F1951.10; both are decorated the same and both bear a Chenghua (1465-87) reign mark on the base. Some scholars accept both dishes as genuine works of the Chenghua reign; however, it is very possible that this dish (F1951.11) is a later copy, probably made during the eighteenth century. Regardless of its date, it is a very refined piece that offers room for speculation about what is the acceptable range of variation for genuine Chenghua wares; or the dish may be a window onto Qing dynasty copies of earlier porcelain.

Reasons to question the date of the bowl include the bluish tint of the clear glaze, which is not typical of the Chenghua period. Also, the way the foot has been trimmed relates more closely to practices during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) than during the Ming. Moreover, the treatment of the cobalt lines in the painting looks mannered, as if the painter was intentionally trying to introduce some areas of darker blue to resemble a naturally occuring effect seen in Chenghua wares.

Published References
  • Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 23, fig. 18.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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