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Globular Jar

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
An important innovation in the Jiajing period at the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen was “five-color” (wucai) decoration, a combination of underglaze blue and overglaze polychrome enamels, used here to create a dramatic depiction of gold carp darting among reeds. The shoulder of the vessel is decorated with a lotus-petal motif. The Chinese character for fish (yu) is a homophone for “abundance” or “surplus,” and the one for lotus (lian) is a homophone for “continuous”; a lotus combined with a fish becomes a rebus to represent the phrase, “May you continuously have abundance year after year” (liannian youyu). The image of a fish and lotus was also a metaphor for career advancement, as in one leaping to success.
MEDIUM Porcelain, underglaze cobalt blue decoration, overglaze
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 1522-1566
    DYNASTY Ming Dynasty
    PERIOD Jiajing Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/16 x 8 15/16 in. (23.3 x 22.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Imperial Jiajing mark on base
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 52.49.14
    CREDIT LINE The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Globular Jar, 1522-1566. Porcelain, underglaze cobalt blue decoration, overglaze, 9 3/16 x 8 15/16 in. (23.3 x 22.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins, 52.49.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.49.14_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 52.49.14_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Heavy porcelain with five color (wucai) decoration in overglaze enamels on white ground. Yellow fish are swimming amongst aquatic plants. Shoulder and base are bordered in radial and dentated leaf designs with red, green and underglaze blue outlines. Imperial Jiajing mark. Condition: Intact.
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     <em>Globular Jar</em>, 1522-1566. Porcelain, underglaze cobalt blue decoration, overglaze, 9 3/16 x 8 15/16 in. (23.3 x 22.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, The William E. Hutchins Collection, Bequest of Augustus S. Hutchins, 52.49.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.49.14_bw.jpg)