Important Art Object

Dish with a design of lotus scrolls

Jingdezhen ware, signature: Chen Wenxian zao (made by Chen Wenxian)



Artist Jingdezhen ware, signature: Chen Wenxian zao (made by Chen Wenxian)
Period China, Ming dynasty, 16th century
Materials and techniques Porcelain with overglaze enamels
Size H.6.7 MD.32.0 BD.18.8


This large dish of the ko-akae type is approximately the same size as the wucai dish shown in the previous plate. From its design of chrysanthemum scrolls and waves surrounding the central motif, they are believed to have been manufactured at the same kiln. The inscription on the bottom reading “made by Chen Wenxian” is also common to the two dishes. Names, other than Chen Wenxian, are also seen on various ko-akae vessels, which are produced in a wonderfully free and unrestrained style, and these names, indicating either the potter or the atelier owner, were inscribed perhaps as a sign of the maker’s confidence. The dish is not what one would call delicate. Neither the clay body nor the glaze is of the finest quality, and the overglaze enamels of red, green and yellow are somewhat dull. However tones of the red and green are strong and dark, and the dish, decorated with a lot of red, has a certain restrained beauty characteristic of Chinese wucai porcelain.