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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
Plate (one of a pair)
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), early 17th century (probably Tianqi era, 1621 - 1627)
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue
H. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); D. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This plate and another in the Asia Society Collection (1979.183) form a pair. The rough potting and sketchy painting of these two plates with nearly identical decoration of a Buddhist monk holding a pagoda typify ceramics generally classified as "Transitional wares" (produced during the transition from the Ming to the Qing dynasty) made specifically for the Japanese market in the first three decades of the 17th century. Ceramics of this type, known in Japanese as "old blue-and-white" (ko-sometsuke), were produced in some number to be used in one version of the Japanese tea ceremony (wabicha). Small plates such as these were used to hold various delicacies that were served to each participant during a meal served prior to the tea. Pieces of this type were admired for their ungainliness, which was believed to convey the moment of their production or the personality of the potter who made them.
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