Fragment of a large bowl

Historical period(s)
Yuan or Ming dynasty, 14th century
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze
Jingdezhen ware
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Freer Study Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Bowl (fragment)

China, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

Excavated in Fustat, Cairo, Egypt. [1]

To 1951
Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt. [2]

John A. Pope, purchased by Richard Ettinghausen from the Museum of Islamic Art per the instructions given to him by John A. Pope. [3]

From 1951
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of John A. Pope. [4]


[1] See Study Collection catalogue card, Collections Management Office. In Fustat, Cairo, Egypt excavations were conducted beginning in 1912 by the Arab Museum of Art (now Museum of Islamic Art). From 1912 to 1924 Aly Bahgat conducted excavations, and it’s highly probable that the sherds in the Freer Study Collection were excavated under his supervision sometime between 1912 and 1924.

[2] See letter from Richard Ettinghausen to John Pope, dated Feb. 6, 1951, in the John Alexander Pope Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] Richard Ettinghausen purchased over 100 fragments from the Arab Museum of Art (now named Museum of Islamic Art), on instructions from John Pope. A letter written on Feb. 6, 1951 by Ettinghausen to Pope does not specifically mention that he purchased the Chinese ceramic sherds for the Freer Gallery of Art, additionally, there is no information on the source of the funds used for the purchase. It is likely that Ettinghausen made the purchase for Pope’s personal collection. At this time, in 1951, John Pope was the Assistant Director of the Freer Gallery, was a scholar of Chinese art and a collector, who specialized in Chinese blue-and-white porcelain wares. He assembled a collection of sherds which he later gifted to the Freer Study Collection. See letter written by Richard Ettinghausen to John Pope, dated February 6, 1951, in the John Alexander Pope Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See also Lawton, Thomas and Lentz, Thomas, Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, pp. 49-55.

[4] This collection of Fustat sherds is the earliest acquisition of pottery in the Freer Study Collection, of the Freer Gallery of Art.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.