Slops jar (zhadou)

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Zhengde reign, 1506-1521
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under colorless glaze
Jingdezhen ware
H x Diam: 12.5 × 15.4 cm (4 15/16 × 6 1/16 in)
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, dragon, flower, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), porcelain, WWII-era provenance, Zhengde reign (1506 - 1521)
Provenance research underway.

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 "spitton" is also used.

This imperial slops jar has a four-character Zhengde (1506-21) mark written in cobalt on the bottom. The decoration of dragons cavorting among lotuses was used on a range of table wares made for the Zhengde court.

Published References
  • Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 33, fig. 29.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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