Dish

Artist/maker unknown, Vietnamese

Geography:
Made in Vietnam, Asia

Date:
15th - 16th century

Medium:
Stoneware with underglaze blue decoration

Dimensions:
2 15/16 x 13 1/4 inches (7.4 x 33.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1998-148-1

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by Warren H. Watanabe and the George W. B. Taylor Fund, 1998

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Label:
This large dish is an example of the high-quality wares made by Vietnamese potters for trade with Japan, the Middle East, and Europe beginning in the fifteenth century. Bits of barnacle are adhered to the underside, suggesting that the piece was under water for some time, probably as a result of a shipwreck during its export.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Vietnamese potters are believed to have been introduced to Chinese ceramic wares with cobalt blue underglaze during the fourteenth century. Like the Chinese, the Vietnamese had two distinct levels of ceramic production. The great mass of wares had simple designs and were manufactured for everyday use. A second group, comprised of large, impressive vases and dishes with elaborate, finely painted decoration, was created for wealthy consumers both at home and abroad.

    This beautifully potted dish, with its complex foliate rim and deep cavetto, is an excellent example of the rare, large-scale wares made for the upper class. It is the finest piece of Vietnamese ceramics that the Museum has acquired to date. The delicate landscapes of the four seasons are encircled by three bands of cloud and lotus-petal motifs, all painted in a deep purplish-blue. The glaze is unusually thick and lustrous, emphasizing the rich color of the decoration. The underside is treated with the chocolate brown wash that is characteristic of many Vietnamese ceramics. These high-quality wares were much admired and became popular items of trade with Japan, the Middle East, and Europe from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. The bits of barnacle that adhere to the underside of the dish are evidence of its presence on a shipwrecked boat that once carried the wares for trade overseas. Adriana Proser, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 15.

  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Like the Chinese, the Vietnamese had two distinct levels of ceramic production. Most pieces had simple designs and were manufactured for everyday use. Others, such as this beautifully potted dish with its complex foliate rim and deep cavetto, were among the much rarer and more elaborate large-scale wares made for upper-class consumers.

    The glaze on this example is unusually thick and lustrous, emphasizing the rich purplish-blue decorations that include delicate landscapes of the four seasons. Such high-quality wares were much admired in the overseas trade, and the bits of barnacle adhering to the underside of this dish suggest that it was likely on a shipwrecked boat that once carried it abroad. Adriana Proser, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (2009).