skip to Main Content

Polychrome Enamel (Ko-aka-e)
Scholar-theme Porcelain Dish


Diameter: 20.9 cm. (8 1/4 in.)
Height: 2.5 cm. (1 in.)

Late Ming dynasty
Early 17th century

Inscribed: “Tianxia taiping” 天下太平 (Great peace under heaven).

Published: Sharpening the Tools: Imagery and Accoutrement from the Scholar’s World (Kaikodo, Autumn 2017), no. 51.

The magnetism of the Chinese scholar exerted a power beyond China’s borders as seen in the decoration of Jingdezhen porcelains for the Japanese market. The idealized gentleman here strolls through a rarefied world of glistening enamels, gazing at the moon, his servant bringing up his qin, “lute”, all within the eight bracket-lobed foliations of the shallow porcelain dish.

The standard underglaze-blue decorated porcelain, with its idiosyncratic characteristics aimed to please Japanese taste, has a counterpart in overglaze enamel decorated wares. A number of similar pieces to this are marked with the same rarely encountered mark on their bases and attributed to the Chongzhen reign at the very end of the Ming period.



For a complete writeup with illustrated comparative material download the PDF.

Download PDF File
Back To Top