Other Ceramics in National Palace Museum, part3
Welcome to the National Palace Museum's collection of other ceramics! Here, you can explore some of the most beautiful and intricate ceramics from China's imperial past. We have a variety of different ceramics on display here, including a Green-ground Floral-shaped Vase with Fish-Dragon Motif, Ruby Red-glazed Vase, Bowl in black glaze with "hare's fur" striations, Celadon water container, Yue ware, Tea Caddy with Gold Tracery Decoration of "Continuous Happiness" Symbols on a Red Ground and Purple-ground Box with Bird-and-Flower Motif in Fencai Enamels. These pieces are all unique and exquisite works of art that tell us about the craftsmanship and skill of Chinese artisans during this time period. Come take a look at these incredible artifacts today!
1. Green-ground Floral-shaped Vase with Fish-Dragon Motif
The vase is large, thick, and has an eight-petal flower shape. The vase has a bright yellowish-green color and looks almost modern. The vase has two handles in the shape of animal masks with rings in their mouths, and has panels in the shape of caltrop blossoms, with a fish and dragon in relief.
2. Ruby Red-glazed Vase
The period from 1705 to 1712, during the Kangxi reign, Lang Tingji, the Governor of Jiangsi, was ordered to go to Jingdezhen kilns factory and manage the firing of ceramics at the imperial kiln works. Among the porcelains produced there was a red-glazed vessel in imitation of one that goes back to the Xuande reign (1426-1435) in the Ming dynasty. The shape of this vessel is similar to the purification vase seen held in the hand of the Buddhist figure Guanyin, which is why it is also known as a Guanyi tsun-vase.
3. Bowl in black glaze with "hare's fur" striations
This bowl has a flared mouth, deep belly walls, and a small ring foot. The ceramic body is thick and heavy, and has been covered in thick flowing black glaze. The glaze on the exterior surface of the bowl does not extend to the bottom, and the glaze layers are thin near the top and thicker toward the bottom.
4. Celadon water container, Yue ware
This celadon water container slopes outwards with a flat folded rim, deep arched body, flat bottom, and a slightly concave base. The piece is covered with greenish-grey glaze and has an irregular spur mark that goes around the edge of the base through which the grey color of the biscuit can be seen. Most pieces like this have been unearthed from the graves of members of the royal household of the Wuyue Kingdom, which often hold at least one celadon water container as a grave good.
5. Tea Caddy with Gold Tracery Decoration of "Continuous Happiness" Symbols on a Red Ground
This jar with lid was perhaps used as a tea container. Appearing quite sumptuous and stately, the red ground is filled from top to bottom with gold pigment. Looking closely, the decoration of the lid and vessel symbolizes the notion of "ten thousand (wan) blessings (fu) forever."
6. Purple-ground Box with Bird-and-Flower Motif in Fencai Enamels
In the late Qing dynasty, the Empress Dowager Cixi controlled the court for a long period of time. Many people have heard stories of her sumptuous lifestyle and how she admired jadeite. Many do not realize, however, that the opulent porcelains with the mark "Ta-ya Studio" were made for her imperial use. These works with the "Ta-ya Studio" mark, though they follow the use of enamel colors from the High Qing, have an arrangement of colors that is even more striking. For example, violet was previously often used to paint patterns but not as a background color. However, this violet famille rose floral case boldly does so. Combined with the red flowers and green leaves, the colors are indeed quite striking and would indeed appear to echo the opulent lifestyle of the Empress Dowager Cixi.
7. Warming bowl with celadon glaze, Ru ware
This bowl was molded. The even curves on its wall follow the foliated contour of the mouthrim. The entire vessel is coated in consistent and smooth celadon glaze, displaying a bluish green color. Both its interior and exterior walls are covered with crackles stained brown. With a high, splayed ring foot, this piece has five spur marks along the edge of its base. Similar specimens have been excavated from the kiln site in Qingliang Temple, Baofeng County, Henan Province. There existed two ways of firing for this type of vessel:fired on spurs for fully glazed vessels or on setters. In the Song dynasty, warming bowls and ewers were paired wine vessels for daily use. Their usage can be seen in mural paintings from the tombs of the Liao dynasty and in the painting, Literary Gathering (attributed to Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty, National Palace Museum). Apart from Ru ware, lotus-shaped warming bowls were also produced at kilns across northern and southern China and similarly-shaped vessels have appeared among Korean Goryeo celadon wares as well. In light of silverware discovered in Southern Song hoards, it can be surmised that the emergence and prevalence of ceramic ewers and lotus-shaped bowls reflect the contemporary trend of emulating gold and silver wares.
8. Narcissus basin in bluish-green glaze, Ru ware
This oval dish has deep, slightly flaring sides, a flat base, and four cloud-shaped feet. The body is very thin on the sides, becoming slightly thicker on the base and feet. It is covered all over in a light blue, highly lustrous glaze, which shows a hint of green at the base:the glaze is slightly thinner at the rim and the corners.
9. Pillow in the shape of a recumbent child with white glaze, Ding ware
During the Tang dynasty, most ceramics pillows either had a three-color glaze, or were glazed brown, black, or a changsha bronze color. By the Song dynasty, there was a greater variety of designs, including one made especially to be buried with the deceased. The variations included those of different sizes, styles, and decorations, the last of which usually implied auspicious meaning.