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An image of Jar with five quatrefoil panels by Jingdezhen ware
Alternate image of Jar with five quatrefoil panels by Jingdezhen ware

Jingdezhen ware

(China  – )

Jar with five quatrefoil panels
Other titles:
Jar decorated with five medallions containing flower and foliage
Place of origin
JingdezhenJiangxi ProvinceChina
Chenghua 1465 - 1487Ming dynasty 1368 - 1644 → China
Media category
Materials used
porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamels in the 'doucai' style

6.3 cm diam. of mouth; 12.3 x 12.2 cm

Signature & date
Signed and dated.
Gift of Charles Binnie 1939
Accession number
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

Imperial porcelain of the Chenghua period is esteemed for the purity and quality of the porcelain clay, the innovation and delicacy of design and the perfection of the ‘doucai’ (‘contrasting colours’) technique. This technique, in which overglaze enamels are applied to a design delineated in underglaze blue, must have been difficult and expensive for it is confined to small, intimate objects of exquisite refinement. So esteemed was Chenghua ‘doucai’ that it was copied in succeeding centuries, most notably in the 1700s as demonstrated in the gallery’s delicate example of the famous ‘chicken cup’ type ( 193.1992).

The six-character mark on the base of the jar indicates it was made before 1481, when the single character for 'heaven' replaced the reign mark. The freely drawn underglaze blue outlines are clearly visible beneath the adeptly applied overglaze enamels of iron red, green and dark yellow. This rare example has a companion piece (with cover) in the Palace Museum in Beijing, but few other examples exist of this important type of early 'doucai' decoration.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.118.

Bibliography (2)

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 118 (colour illus.).

Julian Thompson, Orientations, 'Chinese Porcelain in the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 96-103, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 97, 98 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.3, 3a (mark)

Exhibition history (1)

Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015