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Porcelain with pale bluish-white glaze, Qingbai ware
Lid: 4 x 15.3 cm (1 9/16 x 6 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.173.1.b
The kilns in which qingbai ware were fired used pine wood as fuel, preventing oxidation and creating the distinct blue-green tint.
While dark-glazed ceramics resemble black lacquer ware, and celadons were often compared to green jade, white or bluish-white glazed stoneware imitates silver. Here, broad silver bands around the bowls’ rims accentuate their precious appearance. The incised petals are inspired by lotus flowers and the domed covers by their circular leaves. The lotus motif often indicates the use of an object in a Buddhist context, in which it is a symbol of purity as its flowers emerge unsullied from the mud of lakes and ponds. Alternatively, these bowls may have been used to hold food at banquets.
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