VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Iron-spotted qingbai ware, figure of man atop water buffalo
W – 230 (82-18)
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Iron-spotted qingbai wares in the Philippines were more ceremonial or decorative in function rather than practical. The Southeast Asian market had a particular fondness for jarlets and figurines depicting scenes of the everyday. Other objects range from grave goods and brush washers to jarlets and water vessels. The Villanueva collection possesses examples of boys wrestling, figures on boat, and others like this fine piece showing the playful character of a man as he wrestles with the horns of a water buffalo.

History of the Object
The decorative mode of applying spots of iron oxide at random on to the unglazed body resulting in brown spots after firing first appeared in the third century. It continued to surface intermittently thereafter. Potters from the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368 A.D.) fancied iron-spotting and applied it frequently on their wares. For unknown reasons, it was discontinued after the 14th century. Iron-spotted white ware presents the earliest style of painted decoration on ceramics. It was created using patterns of iron, copper, and cobalt oxide under clear white glazes. Although there were signs of early iron-spotted works in the 4th century, they became popular when they were re-introduced by Jingdezhen potters during the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.). While the Ming and Qing dynasties (up to the 17th century) assigned Jingdezhen as the official kiln site for Imperial ware, the production of iron-spotted wares ceased in the 14th century and was never revived.

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Type
Ceramics 
Materials
Clay, iron, copper, and cobalt oxide 
Measurements
7.4 x 5.3 x 9.6 cm 
Creator name
Not indicated 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Jiangxi Province; Jingdezhen kilns 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
14th Century; Yuan Dynasty 
Function
Decorative 
Acquisition
On loan for 25 years from the Roberto T. Villanueva Foundation 
Copyright
This photograph and information pertaining to the artwork pictured herein may be used only once and only for the purpose of the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces (VCM) project. The image may not be cropped or manipulated. Credits (title of artwork, artist, collection/owner, and Ayala Museum) should always be included when publishing this photograph. 
Acknowledgements
References: Gotuaco, Larry, Rita Tan & Allison Diem. Chinese & Vietnamese Blue and White wares found in the Philippines. Bookmark Inc, 1997. Guy, John S. Oriental Trade Ceramics in South East Asia Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries. Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1990. Krahl, Regina. Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection. (vols. 1 & 2). United Kingdom: Azimuth Editions Limited, 1994. Williams, C.A.S. Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs. 4th ed. Singapore: Tuttle Publishing, 1974. Personal communication with Mrs. Rita C. Tan, Makati, Philippines, 11.07.07.  
Owner
Roberto T. Villanueva Foundation 
Museum
Ayala Museum 
Credit line
On long-term loan to Ayala Museum from the Roberto T. Villanueva Foundation, Philippines 

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