Ducks in Sixteenth-Century Chinese Porcelain: A Wan-li Bowl in the Home
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National Gallery of Canada
by Yutaka Mino and Katherine Tsiang
Pages 1 | 2
1 Porcelain of the
National Palace Museum, Enameled Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book
III, (Hong Kong: K'ai-Fa-Chen- Fen, 1966), pp. 49-51, pl. 10 a-d.
2 François Fourcade, Art Treasures of the Peking Museum (New
York: Abrams, 1965), pl. 23.
3 Catalogue of Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, l
and 2 April 1974 (London: Sotheby), no. 228, bought Mrs Glatz.
4 Fourcade, loc. cit. In his description of the bowl, Fourcade
does not mention any reign-mark. The measurement which he gives
as the height of the piece also seems inaccurate.
5 Yoshiaki Yabe, Gen no Sometsuke (Yüan Blue-and-White), Toji
Taikei, vol. 41 (1974), p. 13. See also J. A. Pope, Chinese
Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine (Washington: Srnithsonian
Institution, 1956), pl. 7; idem. Fourteenth-Century
A group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Serayi Müzesi,
Istanbul, Freer Gallery of Art Occasional Papers vol. 2 (2nd
ed. rev., Washington: 1970), pls. 4, 20, 27.
6 Fujio Koyama et al., Sekai Toji Zenshu (Catalogue of
World's Ceramics), vol. II, (Tokyo: Kawade Shobo, 1955), p. 210,
fig. 109. The vase is believed to be either of the Ch'eng-hua or
7 Ibid., pl. 86.
8 Suzanne G. Valenstein, Ming Porcelains - A Retrospective (New
York: China Institute in America, 1970), p. 63.
9 See note 2, no. 227.
10 Rose Hempel [ed.], Tausendjahre Chinesische Keramik aus
Privatbesitz (Hamburg: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 1974), p.
82, no. 91.
11 "The Ceramic Art of China," Transactions of the Oriental
Ceramic Society, vol. 38 (1969-1971), pl. 112, no. 160;
also: Margaret Medley, Ming Polychrome Wares in the Percival
David Foundation of Chinese Art (London: University of London,
1966), pl. XVI, no. A763.
12 Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain (London: Faber
and Faber, 1953), pl. 82B; the piece is believed by Jenyns to be of
the Cheng-te period.
13 Ibid., pls 34, 35.
14 Porcelain of the National Palace Museum; Enameled Ware of the
Ming Dynasty, Book II (Hong Kong: 1966), pp. 52-53, pls 3 a-e.
15 Ibid., pp. 56-57, pls 5 a-e.
16 Koyama, op. cit., p. 284, fig. 298.
17 Ryoichi Fujioka, "Min no Aka-e" (Ming Polychrome
Porcelain), Toji Taikei, vol. 43 (1972), pl. 5.
18 Fujioka, former Curator of the Department of Ceramics at the
Kyoto National Museum, bases his opinion on Cheng-te or afterward
- but not earlier. Therefore, closely related pieces are also more
likely to have been made after Cheng-te than before (ibid., p.
19 R. L. Hobson, The Wares of the Ming Dynasty (London: 1923),
pl. 28, fig. 2.
20 One example, a bowl painted with an old man, other figures,
deer, and a crane has a Hsüan-te reign-mark on the bottom in
underglaze blue (Fujioka, op, cit., pls. 48, 49). Another
bowl with a Hsüan-te mark, but which is thought to be of
mid-sixteenth century date, is painted with ducks, cranes, and other
birds on a lotus pond (Jenyns, op. cit., pl. 47B). A third
bowl, painted with ducks and lotuses in red, green, and yellow
enamels, bears a Cheng-te mark on the base ("The Ceramic Art of
China," Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol.
38 [1969-1971], pl. 119, no. 171).
21 Fujioka, op. cit., pl. 64.
22 Porcelain of the National Palace Museum: Enameled Ware of
the Ming Dynasty, Book II, pp. 80-81, pls 18a, b.
23 The Wan-li basin illustrated here, from the Hatori collections
is published in Koyama, op. cit., pl. 118. Another basin is
reproduced in Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum.
Chinese Ceramics (Tokyo: 1965), no. 527; also in Chugoku Min
Shin Bijutsu-ten Mokuroku (Exhibition Catalogue of Chinese Arts
of the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties) (Tokyo: Tokyo National Museum,
1963), pl. 365. Similar basins of the Lung-ch'ing period are in the
Hatakeyama Museum, the Umezawa Museum, and the Royal Scottish
Museum. (See Fujioka, op. cit., pl. 19; p. 111, fig. 41: and Chinese
Pottery and Porcelain [Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum,
1955], pl. 10.)
24 Large vases with long necks and swelling at the top near the
mouth, which are called "garlic-headed" vases in China,
are from the Wan-li period. The example illustrated is in a Japanese
private collection and is published in Fujioka, op. cit., p.
83. Two others are known, one in Taipei and the other in Peking. See
Porcelain of the National Museum: Enameled Ware of the
Book III, pp. 32-33, pl. 2 a-c: and Chuka
Jinnlin Kyowakoku Min Shin Kogei Bijutsuten (Exhibition of Ming
and Ch'ing Crafts from the People's Republic of China) (Tokyo:
Otsuka Kogeisha, 1974), p. 9.
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