For the Imperial Court: Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art

For the Imperial Court: Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art

December 7, 1997 to March 1, 1998

The Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, now on long-term loan to the British Museum, London, is renowned for its ceramic treasures from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Acquired by Sir David Percival and Lady David, whose objective is was to assemble a body of works that would reflect Chinese imperial taste, the collection documents one of China’s enduring contributions to the arts. The magnificent Qing examples featured in this exhibition provided a wonderful overview of the Chinese tradition of art connoisseurship during the last period of dynastic rule.

The majority of the more than sixty items in the exhibition were made at imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, during the reign of the emperors Kangxi (1662–1722), Yongzheng (1723–35), or Qianlong (1736–95). The porcelains produced under these three rulers represent the apogee of Qing ceramic achievement, benefiting from technological developments and artistic innovations. Included were plates, bowls, vases, cups, and teapots, along with a unique group of works that would have stood on a Qing scholar’s table—a wrist rest, an ink palette and cover, a brush washer, and a table screen.

This exhibition was organized by the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and The American Federation of Arts. It was supported in part by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Benefactors Circle of the AFA.

Caption: Dish with Flattened Rim (detail), China, Qing dynasty, Kangzi period, first quarter of the 18th century, Jingdezhen porcelain decorated with overglaze enamels. Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, PDF 808