Chinese collection

Item LL 6701
side view of vase of item LL 6701

Accession no: LL 6701
Object type: Ceramic
Name: Vase with scenes from 'Imperial Images of Ploughing and Weaving'
Materials: Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration in famille verte style
Place made: Jingdezhen, China
Date made: Qing Dynasty, Kangxi (1662-1722 AD)
Measurements: H. 51 cm, DB. 19.5 cm (with stand)

Description: Vase, of rouleau form with straight neck and spreading mouth. Painted in famille verte enamels. Two large panels bordered with key fret, one a scene in the rice fields, the other depicting mat sheds with a group of figures weighing silk cocoons, a long inscription in each panel; between them, and as narrow borders above and below, a dotted green ground inset with archaic dragons and formal lotus flowers in colour. On neck, various panels of vases and symbols on green hexagon diaper. Borders of cloud scrolls, key fret, salmon gadroon and yellow dentate ornament. Slight rib on neck. Empty double ring under the base.

The two scenes are taken directly from the Kangxi edition of yuzhi gengzhi tu (Imperial Images of Ploughing and Weaving). In 1689, the Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), commissioned from court artist Jiao Bingzhen (act. 1680-1720), a series of forty-six paintings illustrating the processes of rice cultivation and silk production. They were based upon a series first produced under the Southern Song dynasty in 1210. The paintings were published as a series of woodblock illustrations with descriptive stanzas of each process as a piece of imperial propaganda. It was probably these woodblock images that provided the source for the porcelain decorators at Jingdezhen. Subjects derived from yuzhi gengzhi tu also appear in jade, lacquer and other media.

R. L. Hobson, Chinese Porcelain and Wedgwood Pottery with Other Works of Ceramic Art , London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1928, No. 431.