Chinese / Two Plates / Ming period, early 17th century (probably Tianqi era, 1621-1627)Chinese
Two Plates
Ming period, early 17th century (probably Tianqi era, 1621-1627)

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Two Plates
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1621
Creation End Date: 1627
Creation Date: Ming period, early 17th century (probably Tianqi era, 1621-1627)
Creation Place: China, Jiangxi Province
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue
Dimensions: Each H. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); D. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.183 and 1979.184
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: Thicker bodies, lively paintings, and the addition of themes with narrative content characterize the wares produced at the imperial Jingdezhen kilns during the second to eighth decades of the 17th century. Ceramics made during this time are generally classified as Transitional wares because they were produced during the transition from imperial Ming patronage (1368-1644) to that of the subsequent Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

The rough potting and sketchy painting of these two plates with nearly identical decoration of a Buddhist monk holding a pagoda typify Transitional wares 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), wereproduced in some number to be used in one version of the Japanese tea ceremony (wabicha). Plates such as these were used during a meal prior to the tea ceremony and would have held various delicacies served to each participant from a larger dish. The choice of each object used in the meal and the tea ceremony was an important aspect of each event.

Ceramics decorated in underglaze cobalt blue were appreciated for their sense of coolness. Plates such as these two were admired for their ungainliness, which was believed to convey the moment of their production or the personality of the anonymous potter who made them. They were also admired for the roughness of their glaze and for the way the glaze often eroded away from the edges. This trait wastermed 'insect-nibbled' (mushikui) by Japanese tea masters.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 81.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.183-184
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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