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Globular Jar

Asian Art

Porcelains in the Ming Jiajing era were dec;orated with a variety of techniques, the most dramatic of which is the combination of underglaze cobalt-blue and overglaze polychrome enamels, called wucai, or "five colors." Wucai porcelains can of course have more or fewer than literally five colors, but the aim is for a brilliant, dramatic effect. The fish design on this Jar forms a kind of pun. The word for "fish ," yu, sounds the same as the word meaning "surplus" or "excess." Jin means "gold," and jinyu, or "goldfish," can become a pun on the phrase "surplus of gold."

MEDIUM Porcelain, underglaze cobalt blue decoration, overglaze
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 1522-1566
    DYNASTY Ming Dynasty
    PERIOD Jiajing (Chia Ching) Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/16 x 8 15/16 in. (23.3 x 22.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Imperial Jiajing mark on base
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    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
    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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    Globular Jar