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Asian art

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Wine 'chicken' cup

circa 1725-1750


Jingdezhen ware



Reference to and reverence for the past are enshrined in the Chinese artistic tradition. Just as painters sought to achieve the lofty ideals of earlier masters, so potters sought to emulate the refined achievements of their predecessors. This exquisite wine cup demonstrates that the extraordinarily fine porcelains of the Chenghua period (1467-87) of the Ming dynasty were a natural source of inspiration for the technically accomplished potters of the early Qing. In all respects the vessel emulates its Chenghua precursors. The perfection of the almost miniature form is matched by the quiet refinement of the underglaze blue decoration and the subtle exuberance of the overglaze enamels. The 'doucai' technique, meaning 'contending' or 'contrasting colours', juxtaposes the bright but transparent enamel colours- in this case red, green, yellow, turquoise and pale aubergine with the softer tone of the underglaze blue.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 257.


Place where the work was made

Jingdezhen Jiangxi Province China


circa 1725-1750

Media category


Materials used

porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamels in the 'doucai' style


3.8 x 8.1 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Mr J.H. Myrtle 1992


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Jingdezhen ware

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 257 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 203 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 119 (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, 102 (colour illus.). fig.10

Editor Unknown (Editor), 1000 Years of Chinese Ceramics, Sydney, 1970. cat. no. 64