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: Jar with lid

Jar with lid

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, 19th century
Stoneware with slip and iron pigment under clear glaze
Cizhou-type ware
H (overall): 15.2 cm (6 in)
China, Hebei province, Pengcheng or Tangshan kilns
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Two robust, cursively written characters decorate the jar and bid its owner good fortune (fu) and long life (shou). The jar is a food storage container for everyday use; the choice of calligraphy as the sole decoration suggests that even minimally educated people probably recognized the characters fu and shou -- words frequently added to Chinese objects because they are believed to have an efficacious power and talismanic function. The white slip that covers the jar associates the surface with paper. The spontaneous calligraphy boldly stands out, its exuberant style in harmony with the hopeful tone of the message.

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 February 1902 [2]

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


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Pottery List, L. 1103, 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, Cizhou ware, iron pigment, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), slip, stoneware
Collection(s) Area
Chinese Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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