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Conical Bowl with the Three Friends of Winter

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Made in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China, Asia

Xuande Period (1426-1435)

Early 15th century

Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration (Jingdezhen ware)

3 5/16 x 8 11/16 x 8 3/4 inches (8.4 x 22 x 22.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 334, Asian Art, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Henry B. Keep Fund, the Joseph E. Temple Fund, the Bloomfield Moore Fund, the John T. Morris Fund, and with funds contributed by Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg, The Beneficia Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. J. Welles Henderson, Mrs. Howard H. Lewis, Mrs. William F. Machold, Mrs. Donald Petrie, Meyer P. Potamkin, Hugh Scott, and Mrs. William L. Van Alen, 1984

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Dubbed the “Three Friends of Winter,” the bamboo, pine, and plum that ornament this bowl remain green and blossom during the winter months. Collectively they symbolize fortitude and resilience in adverse conditions, moral qualities associated with the gentleman scholar. Imperial blue-and-white wares from this early period were decorated with cobalt imported from Persia that produced a deep, inky blue hue. The dark specks are from excess cobalt in the glaze.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.