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An octagonal ceramic jar with a flat base, shoulders that slope sharply to short collar and a wide mouth. Heavy porcelaneous body is slipped in white. Painted in dark brown on one facet with five characters, below which is an oval cartouche, and from these, there is a peony spray of dark brown leaves with lighter brown flowers, spreading horizontally over two adjoining panels. Both cartouche outline and flower petals are emphasized with incising through to the under lying slip. All beneath an over all heavy transparent glaze. An even network of crackling shows extensive light purple and brown staining.

History Of Use

Produced for more than a thousand years, from the 10th century to the present, Tz'u-chou ware comes in a wide variety of shapes and styles, having roots in the T'ang ceramic industry of north China. The use of white slip under a transparent glaze is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the ware.

Iconographic Meaning

The peony is a symbol of spring, an emblem of affection.


Tz'u-chou ware. Acquired in Amsterdam.

Item History

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