Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dish with Children in a Garden

Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
13th century
Silver with repoussé decoration and gilding
H. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); Diam. of foot 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift, in honor of Brooke Astor's one-hundredth birthday, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
The theme of children at play, which expresses a wish for the birth of children and the concomitant joys they engender, is a ubiquitous motif in Chinese decorative arts from as early as the tenth century. Some of the figures seen on this dish—for example, the two boys at left, one riding a hobbyhorse and the other holding a lotus leaf—are a stock figural grouping, appearing on art objects until the seventeenth century. The cluster of leafy palms with rocks and the balustrade enclosing a lotus pond are standard features of Chinese garden designs.
[ J. J. Lally & Co. , New York, until 2002; sold to MMA]
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