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Bowl, c. 1573-1619

Unknown (Chinese - Ming Dynasty / Wan-li period, late 16th-early 17th century)

porcelain with polychrome decoration
7.3 x 17.8 cm
Gift of an anonymous donor, 1975, in memory of Rosalie Idelson Phillips
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18522)

This rare porcelain bowl is decorated with mandarin ducks (the Chinese symbol of marital fidelity) in a pond, surrounded by lotuses and other aquatic plants. The technique of "tou-ts'ai", meaning contrasting colours, is an important innovation of the Ming period. The blue outlines are drawn in cobalt oxide under a transparent glaze.

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