Jug with Portuguese arms

Chinese, for Portuguese market

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 201

This ewer with the Portuguese royal arms is witness to the first East-West trade in Chinese porcelain carried on by the Portuguese in the mid-sixteenth century. The form is neither Chinese nor European; rather, it is based on an Islamic metalwork vessel made for the Near Eastern market that was appropriated for the new European trade. The Chinese painters have misunderstood the Portuguese coat of arms, which appears upside down.

Jug with Portuguese arms, Hard-paste porcelain with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware), Chinese, for Portuguese market

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