Ming Dynasty porcelain jar decorated with carp and aquatic plant patterns

Updated: Aug 21, 2023 Print
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Polychrome ( wucai) porcelain lidded jar with motifs of carp and aquatic plants, with a reign mark reading “The Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty”, from the collection of the Palace Museum [Photo/Official website of the Palace Museum]

This Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) lidded jar features an upright lip and round shoulders. It is adorned with vibrant decorations in both overglaze and underglaze colors, portraying an enchanting underwater pond scene. Notably, the focal point of this artwork is the depiction of eight red carps gracefully navigating through aquatic flora. The jar’s tall lid is topped with a knob embellished with flame patterns, resembling a gemstone bead.

This jar, from the permanent collection of the Palace Museum, is a fine example of polychrome (wucai) porcelain made in the official kilns during the Jiajing reign (r. 1522-66).

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