An image of 'Wucai' dish decorated with dragon and two phoenixes above the Immortal Isles in the Eastern sea

Jingdezhen ware

(China  – )

'Wucai' dish decorated with dragon and two phoenixes above the Immortal Isles in the Eastern sea

Other titles:
Dish with design of dragon and two phoenix above the Eastern seas, Dish with design of dragon and phoenixes
Location
Not on display
Further information

In the interior centre of this colourful dish is an ascending five-clawed dragon with its mane flying apart in the middle. Alongside the dragon are two descending phoenixes. Below them are three geometric designs arising from the wavy ocean, symbols of the sacred mountains of Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou in the Bohai sea. At the top is a circle containing three bars, the first character in 'Book of Change' - Qian. Qian refers to the sky, the sun and male yang force. On the sides of the dish are animals under branches of flowering pomegranate trees whose seeds symbolise male heirs. On the exterior are ruyi (literally meaning 'as you wish') floral patterns.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012

Place of origin
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China
Period
China: Ming dynasty 1368–1644, Wanli 1573–1619
Media
Ceramic
Medium
porcelain with 'wucai' (five colour) polychrome enamel decoration
Dimensions
4.0 x 27.0 cm
Credit
Purchased 1988
Accession number
302.1988