Chinese Collection

Mirror with Dragons
Mirror with Dragons

Mirror with Dragons

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
11th–13th century
Bronze
9 1/4 in. diameter (23.5 cm diameter)
AG 1973.07
Bronze mirrors were essential items in the toilet sets of aristocratic ladies; they survive because of the East Asian custom of placing them in tombs. As with other luxury goods so deposited, the mirrors were meant to be used by the dead in the spirit world.
Wine Jar with Cover
Wine Jar with Cover

Wine Jar with Cover

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
11th–12th century
Stoneware with olive green glaze (Zhejiang ware)
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.7 cm); Diam. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
AP 1970.08 a,b
The interior rim of the cover for this jar bears an inscription suggesting it was made to hold a funerary offering of wine; however, the purpose of the five vertical tubes on the shoulder which do not penetrate the body is obscure.
Bowl Carved with Design of Boys Among Peonies
Bowl Carved with Design of Boys Among Peonies

Bowl Carved with Design of Boys Among Peonies

China, Jiangxi province
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
12th century
Porcelain with pale blue glaze (Qingbai ware)
H. 3 in. (7.6 cm); Diam. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
AP 1995.07
Among the finest porcelain wares ever produced, qingbai (bluish white) constitutes one of the main groups of porcelain manufactured during the Song dynasty (A.D. 960–1279).
Bowl with Lotus Design
Bowl with Lotus Design

Bowl with Lotus Design

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
12th or 13th century
Stoneware with olive green glaze
H. 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm); Diam. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
AP 1971.16
Graceful shapes, rich greenish glazes, and distinctively carved designs are salient features of the restrained jade colored wares known as “northern celadon.” The name alludes to its development in the northern provinces of Shaanxi and Henan during the Northern Song period (960–1127).
Bowl with Wave Design
Bowl with Wave Design

Bowl with Wave Design

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
12th or 13th century
Stoneware with olive green glaze
H. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
AP 1970.09
Graceful shapes, rich greenish glazes, and distinctively carved designs are salient features of the restrained jade colored wares known as “northern celadon.” The name alludes to its development in the northern provinces of Shaanxi and Henan during the Northern Song period (960–1127).
Manjushri on a Lion
Manjushri on a Lion

Manjushri on a Lion

China
Southern Song or Jin dynasty (1127–1279/1115–1234)
c. 1150–1300
Gilt bronze
23 x 15 1/2 in. (58.4 x 39.3 cm)
AP 1987.05 a,b
Of the many deities that played a role in Chinese Buddhism, Manjushri (in Chinese, Wenshu), the bodhisattva of wisdom, is among the most appealing.
Covered Box with Molded Peony Design
Covered Box with Molded Peony Design

Covered Box with Molded Peony Design

China
Song dynasty (960–1279)
13th century
Porcelain, transparent glaze with pale blue gray tint (Qingbai ware)
H. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm); Diam. 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm)
AG 1971.01
Qingbai ware, prized for its elegant restraint, was produced near the great ceramic center of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province, in south China. These delicate porcelains are distinguished by a clear, bluish white glaze over incised, combed, or molded decoration.
Tea Caddy
Tea Caddy

Tea Caddy

China
Southern Song or Yuan dynasty (1127–1279/1279–1368)
13th–14th century
Porcelain with yellow glaze and iron oxide pigment (Jizhou ware)
H. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm); Diam. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
AG 1985.01
This charming container was originally made as a medicine or cosmetic jar, but this type of Chinese ceramic was highly prized by Japanese tea masters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, who adapted a variety of domestic wares for use in the tea ceremony.
Bamboo and Rocks
Bamboo and Rocks

Bamboo and Rocks

Attributed to Tan Zhirui
Chinese (active late 13th to early 14th century)
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
c. 1275
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
39 1/2 x 14 15/16 in. (100.3 x 38 cm)
AP 2002.02
This delicate ink painting of bamboo and rocks, a recurrent motif in Chinese painting, has recently been attributed to the Yuan-dynasty (1279–1368) painter Tan Zhirui. The elegantly inscribed poem was added by the Buddhist priest Yishan Yining (1247–1317).
Seated Arhat
Seated Arhat

Seated Arhat

China, Shaanxi province
late Yuan to early Ming dynasty (1279–1368/1368–1644)
c. 1300–1450
Cast iron, traces of pigment
30 11/16 x 19 7/8 x 16 in. (78 x 50.5 x 40.7 cm)
AP 1984.14
This engaging portrait of a monk represents an arhat (in Chinese, lohan), one of a group of “perfected beings” who, in the Buddhist faith, were the original disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Arhat Taming the Dragon
Arhat Taming the Dragon

Arhat Taming the Dragon

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
early 14th century
Hanging scroll; ink and mineral pigments on silk
48 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (122.5 x 52.7 cm)
AP 1987.03
Arhats (in Chinese, lohans) were the original disciples of the Buddha, enlightened beings of exceptional wisdom, endowed with supernatural powers. One of their primary roles is to serve as guardians and advocates of the Buddhist Law (dharma).
Meiping Vase
Meiping Vase

Meiping Vase

China
Jiangxi province, Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
first half of the 14th century
Porcelain with pale greenish blue glaze (Qingbai ware)
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); Diam. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
AP 1968.08
Qingbai wares of the Yuan dynasty continue an earlier tradition of porcelain wares covered with a transparent glaze, which began as early as the tenth century. The name qingbai (bluish white) refers to the faint bluish tint of the glaze in areas where it thickens.
Pink and White Lotus
Pink and White Lotus

Pink and White Lotus

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
14th century
Hanging scroll; mineral pigments on silk
53 9/16 x 23 7/8 in. (136 x 60.7 cm)
AP 1984.19
The grandeur of this depiction of lotus blossoms, leaves, and seed pods is eloquent testimony to the considerable position accorded the genre of flower painting in China.
Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design
Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design

Vase with Fish and Foliate Scroll Design

China
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
14th century
Stoneware with brown slip and green glaze (Cizhou ware)
15 3/4 x 11 13/16 in. (40 x 30 cm)
AP 1970.06
Cizhou is the designation for a large and varied group of cream-colored stonewares decorated with painted designs under a transparent glaze, or by incising, stamping, or carving into a colored slip.
Returning from a Visit
Returning from a Visit

Returning from a Visit

Zhu Derun
Chinese (1294–1365)
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368)
c. mid-14th century
Handscroll; ink on paper
11 1/8 x 46 15/16 in. (28.2 x 119.3 cm)
AP 1972.06
The Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), during which time the Mongols dominated China, was one of great distress for the Chinese. For the first time in their history, the entire country was under foreign control.
Bowl with Secret Decoration
Bowl with Secret Decoration

Bowl with Secret Decoration

China
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
early 15th century
Porcelain with transparent glaze (White ware)
H. 4 in (10.1 cm); Diam. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
APx 1971.20
In the Ming period, white ware reached a peak of refinement, achieving a thin, fine-grained, pure white body and a glaze that was transparent and glossy, without any tinge of color.

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