The bowl is modelled in the form of an oval-shaped pond with fluted sides and everted rim containing four modelled children playing amongst stemmed lotus and two fish. It is decorated with splashed brown iron spots and covered with a 'qingbai' glaze. The flat base is unglazed.
Apart from the vividness of modelled children playing amongst lotus fish, worth noting is the decoration of the splashed brown iron spots. One aspect of the decorative innovations of the Yuan potters lay in the tentative experiments with painted underglaze decoration. The 'qingbai' wares with iron oxide seemingly randomly spotted and splashed over the vessels are the earliest experiments in underglazed decoration. However, among examples of the same type this piece may display the least random use of iron spotting, since each boy's hair is carefully indicated.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, June 1999.
Qingbai ware lotus pond bowl
Yingqing ware lotus pond bowl
Yuan dynasty 1279 - 1368 → China
porcelain decorated with splashed brown iron spots and covered with a 'qingbai' glaze
4.0 x 10.5 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Edward and Goldie Sternberg Chinese Art Purchase Fund 1999
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Oriental Trade Ceramics in Southeast Asia 10th to 16th Century:
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 06 Jun 1980–20 Jul 1980
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 01 Aug 1980–31 Aug 1980
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 04 Oct 1980–09 Nov 1980
The connoisseur and the philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg Collection of Chinese Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 31 Jan 2014–27 Apr 2014
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
In one drop of water, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jun 2019–Dec 2020
Referenced in 6 publications
Joanna Capon, Art and Australia (Vol. 41, No. 4), 'Goldie Sternberg. Benefactor', pg. 618-620, Sydney, Jun 2004-Aug 2004, 618, 619 (colour illus.), 620.
John Guy, Oriental trade ceramics in southeast Asia, 10th to 16th century: selected from Australian collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Bodor Collection, Melbourne, 1980, 42, (illus.) 43. plate no. 36
John Guy, Oriental trade ceramics in South-East Asia: Ninth to sixteenth centuries, Singapore, 1986, 88, 90 (colour illus.). no. 43
Jackie Menzies, Look, 'Asian Favourites', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Sep 2003, 27 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Export Ceramics', Sydney, 2003, 135 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, TAASA Review, In the Public Domain: Trade Ceramics in the AGNSW", Sydney, Jun 2013, 24 (colour illus.).