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: Bowl


Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, probably 17th century
Earthenware with cobalt-tinted lead-oxide glaze
H x W: 8.6 x 17.1 cm (3 3/8 x 6 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The thick lead-based glaze that covers this bowl resembles the glazes used on roof tiles and architectural pottery made during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Potters at the tile workshops may have augmented their incomes by making household dishes. The decoration, which was molded separately and attached to the bowl before glazing and firing, consists of a repeat pattern of the character shou, meaning longevity, and five-petaled plum flowers. Five is an auspicious number that represents the Five Blessings of Life, which are health, longevity, peaceful death, wealth, and love of virtue.

To 1902
Thomas B. Clarke (1848-1931), New York, NY, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased at the sale of the Thomas B. Clarke Collection, American Art Association, New York, NY, in 1902 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1106, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Thomas B. Clarke (1848 - 1931)
American Art Association (C.L. Freer source) (established 1883)
Charles Lang Freer (1854 - 1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel
calligraphy, China, earthenware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), plum blossom
Collection(s) Area
Chinese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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