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Covered Jar (Jar)


Artwork Details

Covered Jar (Jar)
porcelain with glaze
19 in (48.26 cm)
Gift of the Estate of Hobart Taylor, Jr.

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

This porcelain, powder blue covered jar is from a three piece garniture set including another similar jar, and vase from the Kangxi period (r. 1662-1722) of the Qing dynasty (1644-1722). Scenes such as the "Hundred Antiquities" and landscapes painted in a similar style to ink paintings, were made to appeal to the scholar-official and literati class of citizens. 

Powder blue, soufflé blue, snowflake blue or xue hua lan (雪花篮), sprinkled blue or sa lan (洒蓝), fish-roe blue (鱼子绿), and blown blue or chuiqing (吹青) are all terms used to describe a subset of famille verte porcelains that are covered with a cobalt blue ground comprising of many layered dots of various sizes, creating gradations in color. It was produced at Jingdezhen (景德镇), Jiangxi (江西), China for a very short time during the Kangxi  (康熙) reign (1661-1722) of the Qing (清) dynasty (1644-1912), primarily from about 1700-1722. It is characterized by its rich, speckled cobalt underglaze surface covering the majority of a porcelain vessel. Sometimes, reserves are masked off using paper as a resist, to keep some areas of the porcelain white. These areas may be decorated later with underglaze cobalt blue or underglaze copper red before glazing and firing, or possibly decorated with famille verte enamels and gilding after glazing and firing. The designs often featured scenes from classical literature, "five color blue" landscapes, birds and flowers, beautiful ladies, the "Hundred Antiquities", and auspicious objects and divine beings. The multiple firings and costly materials made powder blue wares extremely expensive to produce.

Physical Description:

A porcelain baluster-shaped jar on a footring with a short wide neck, topped with a domed cover with flaring flange and a peaked knob. It is covered in powder blue underglaze with four large scalloped reserved panels on the body alternating with smaller reserves on the shoulder and lid: the large reserves containing flowering plants, a landscape, and two scenes of the hundred antiquities, painted in underglaze blue and red, and overglaze enamels; the smaller reserves containing flowering plants in underglaze blue and red. The jar is covered in clear glaze, then painted with overglaze gold floral meander, which is wearing away. The jar, lid, and teakwood stand are acquisition numbers 1982/1.206A, 1982/1.206B, and 1982/1.206C. They are part of a ten-piece garniture set which includes: jars, 1982/1.206A, 1982/1.206B, 1982/1.206C,  1982/1.207A, 1982/1.207B, and 1982/1.207C; vases, 1982/1.208, 1982/1.215, 1982/1.216, and 1982/1.220; plates, 1982/1.212, 1982/1.213, and bowls 1982/1.221, and1982/1.22.

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