VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Tankard
GMP 1967-169
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

A globular tankard on a flat firing ring with an unglazed, slightly convex base. It has a wide cylindrical neck with a C-shaped, curved, flat handle with a thickened thumb rest. It is decorated in underglaze blue. Around the foot, there is a narrow band with scrolls. The body is decorated with scrolls with flowers and buds of a lily-like plant, and a meander band on the shoulder. The neck is divided into sixteen vertical flattened facers with a stylized leaf motif. The ear is decorated with lines and dots. The six-character mark Xuande is written horizontally below the meander band opposite the ear. The glaze has a splendid, almost fatty gloss often compared to butter. The contrast in the decoration between the even, rhythmic facets around the upright neck, redolent of old metal shapes and the fairy-like flower scrolls on the bulging body below is charming. This tankard clearly shows the ‘heaped and piled’, as well as the ‘orange peel’ effect.

History of the Object
The shape of this tankard was copied from Islamic metal examples from India, Persia and elsewhere in the Middle East. Porcelain imitations were popular among Chinese Moslems, but examples are also known in cloisonné and jade. They are called bashoufuhu in China and were made with a lid. Later, they were made as ewers with small spouts and were used to water plants. They were subsequently named hua jiao. This type was hardly produced after the 15th century.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Porcelain, underglaze blue 
Measurements
height 13.7 cm, diameter 7.6 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 15th century ~ AD 15th century 
Creation date
15th Century; 1426-1435; Ming Dynasty, Xuande period (1426-1435) 
Function
Drinking vessel 
Acquisition
A gift from the Ottema Kingma Stichting and the Vereniging Rembrandt on the occasion of the 50 year anniversary of the museum (31 Aug. 1967). 
Copyright
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof 
Acknowledgements
C.J.A. Jörg (ed.), “Oosters Porselein in Nederland: vier museumcollecties”, Groningen 2003, cat.no. 34. 
Owner
Gemeente Leeuwarden, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof 
Museum
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden 
Credit line
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands 

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    AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century
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    Japan
    AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century
  • Dish
    China
    AD 12th century ~ AD 12th century
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