Three five-clawed dragons, one in the centre of the interior and two on the exterior surface decorate this elegant plate. With their mouths closed, the elongated dragons swim amongst the water lotus and lake plants. The lotus is a symbol of purity and perfection both in traditional Chinese literati culture and Buddhist art. The serene dragons, the lotus and the band of calm water lapping the interior rim together present a fresh and placid scene quite distinct from dragons contesting for pearls amid the clouds.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Saucer dish with dragon and waterweed design
Dish with dragon design
porcelain with underglaze blue decoration
4.4 x 21.5 cm
Gift of Florence Marks, Orwell Phillips and Barbara Selby 1980
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012
Referenced in 4 publications
Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 198 (colour illus.), 199.
Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 90 (colour illus.). cat.no. 5
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 117 (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, 99 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.4 and 4a (mark)