Dish with Gardenia

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: late 16th century

Culture: China

Medium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under and colored enamel over transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)

Dimensions: Diam. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919

Accession Number: 19.28.10


The technique of adding yellow enamel to previously glazed and fired porcelains and then firing the enamel at a low temperature was probably developed in China during the Xuande period (1426–35). On this dish, which dates to the end of the fifteenth century, the yellow enamel has been used to silhouette the underlying blue-painted motif, creating the effect of blue decoration on a yellow ground. The dish belongs to a series of rather heavily potted dishes with this five-petalled flower as the principal design that originated in the Xuande period and continued to be produced until at least the Jiajing reign (1522–66). It is generally assumed that the Xuande pieces formed part of an original service, and the dishes from subsequent reigns were manufactured as replacements for those that had been broken in daily use.