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Plate with Geomantic Compass Inscription and Red and Green Designs of Fish and Aquatic Plants, Zhangzhou Kiln

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Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Dimensions: height: 8.5 cm; mouth diameter: 37.5 cm; foot diameter: 17.5 cm

This plate has a flared mouth, arced walls, and a round foot. The interior and exterior are covered in a white glaze. The exposed clay foot and underside have blotches of glaze and adhered sand. The clay of the core is rather coarse. The interior is decorated with designs in red and green. Around the rim are found green and black geometric embellishments. The interior walls are ornamented with five groups of fish and aquatic plants in red, green, and black. The fish are depicted leaping out of the water with raised heads. The middle of the interior base has several red circles surrounding a two-layer design in red and green. At the center, the character for Heaven (Tian) and One (Yi) are written upright in alum-red. The ring of twenty-four characters in alum-red in the exterior circle is read clockwise as zi, gui, chou, gen, yin, jia, mao, yi, chen, xun, si, bing, wu, ding, wei, kun, shen, geng, you, xin, xu, qian, hai, and ren, which include the eight Heavenly Stems (Tiangan), twelve Earthly Branches (Dizhi), and four characters (qian, kun, gen, xun) of the Eight Trigrams (Bagua).

This plate was donated to the Palace Museum by Han Wai Toon (Han Huaizhun, 1892–1970).

Chinese entry by Wang Zhaoyu
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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