Feb 18, 2020
Feb 18, 2020
Feb 18, 2020

Dish with Carved Floral Design

Dish with Carved Floral Design


Porcelain with pale bluish-white (qingbai) glaze

Overall: 4.5 x 18 cm (1 3/4 x 7 1/16 in.)

Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.183



This shallow and wide bowl and the conical one (CMA 2020.182) are both hand-incised with decoration suggesting waves, clouds, or floral sprays. All of these motifs had auspicious meaning: waves and clouds bring rain that fertilizes the fields, and flowers and plants were often associated with the beauty of human virtues. The carved and combed designs were swiftly cut with a wooden tool into the unfired leather-hard body before glazing. Once the glaze was applied, it pooled in the incised areas rendering the design more visible.

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