Slops jar (zhadou)

Blue-and-white.
Clay: fine white porcelain.
Glaze: plain, transparent.
Decoration: in underglaze cobalt blue, flower and fruit branches, freely painted.

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 1450-1521
Medium
Porcelain with cobalt under colorless glaze
Style
Jingdezhen ware
Dimensions
H x Diam: 10.8 × 14.9 cm (4 1/4 × 5 7/8 in)
Geography
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1951.12a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Jar

Keywords
China, flower, fruit, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), porcelain, 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, flower and fruit branches, freely painted.

Label

Jars of this shape, known in Chinese as zhadou, are called "slops jars" and they were primarily used to hold table refuse--food scraps and dregs of tea and wine. Another name for the shape that was commonly used especially in early twentieth-century writings about Chinese porcelain is "leys jar"; sometimes the term "spittoon" is also used.

Both the inside and outside of the jar are adorned with naturalistic sprays of fruiting and flowering branches. While reign marks were commonly written on imperial porcelains from the Xuande period (1426-1435) onward, that was not always the case. This object does not have a reign mark and scholars differ in their opinion as to its date. Perhaps it was made during the Chenghua reign (1465--87), but it might date as late as the Zhengde reign (1506-21).

Published References
  • Li Hui-lin. Garden Flowers of China. Chronica Botanica, An International Biological and Agricultural Series, no. 19 New York. pl. 16.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 33.
  • Geng Baochang. Ming Qing ci qi jian ding. Beijing. fig. 215.
  • Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 28, fig. 23.
  • Report of the Secretary and the Financial Report, 1953. Washington. p. 55, pl. 2.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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