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Shang Vase

Asian Art

This vase is part of a pair that entered the Museum's collection in 1932, but slight differences in size and decoration indicate that they were made at different times although following the same design. This form of Bottle Vase appears in the Song Dynasty (960–1279) as an archaistic revival of ancient bronze vessels, and the design of flowers connected by a scrolling vine is an adaptation of a Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) pattern. The Qing imperial court looked back to the Song and the Ming as two of the greatest eras of ceramic production, and the combination of a Song form and Ming decorative patterns is a Qing homage to China's past as a source of artistic excellence.

MEDIUM Porcelain with cobalt underglaze decoration
  • Place Made: Jiangxi, China
  • DATES 1736-1795
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    PERIOD Qianlong Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (36.2 x 22.5 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 32.1032.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Shang Vase, 1736-1795. Porcelain with cobalt underglaze decoration, 14 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (36.2 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.1032.2. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE mark, 32.1032.2_mark_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Curved mouth that flares out; long neck; oval body; slightly flaring circular foot. Cobalt-blue underglaze design, consisting of ocean wave patterns, similar to ruyi, banana leaf pattern, fret-scroll (huiwen), interlocking lotus flowers. Lotus flowers mean "qingbai lianjie," or "pure and honest." 6-character inscription: "Made during the Qianlong reign of the Great Qing." Unglazed base of foot-ring. Clear glaze covers rest of vase. Object for bestowing reward. Condition: Intact. Old Accession Card for 32.1032: Large bottle shaped vases with spreading feet of medium height, globular bodies with three raised ridges, a double one on the lower part of the shoulder, a single one in the middle of the shoulder, and another one at the base of the neck, and a tall neck, broad at the base, then tapering inwards and finally swelling again somewhat at the mouth. White glazed porcelain decorated on the foot with a leaf scroll border, just above that on the body with a border of false gadroons, then a broad band of peonies and leaf scrolls, and above that, between the raised ridges, ju i heads and more peonies and leaf scrolls. At the base of the neck is a fret border, with tall stiff leaves above. Beneath the mouth rim is a second ju i head border and a broad wave pattern. All these designs are painted in a dark rather dull underglaze blue, rather mottled and speckled. The inside and the base are glazed white, and on the base is a six character Ch'ien Lung seal mark in a rather misty underglaze blue.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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