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Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Vase with Plum Blossoms

17th–early 18th century

Porcelain with cobalt blue under clear glaze (Jingdezhen ware)

16 5/8 × 8 1/2 in. (42.2 × 21.6 cm)
Diameter at Base: 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore
1955.4.143
The burgeoning plum blossoms that cover the exterior of this vase are harbingers of spring; plums are the earliest to flower after the end of the winter frost, and their ephemeral beauty is often cited in Chinese literature and poetry. The delicate blossoms are rendered in reserve, a challenging method in which only the blue background is painted, leaving spaces where the white clay is visible and creating the shape of the flowers.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Kangxi period (1662–1722)
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramics
Provenance: 

Henry Sampson Collection; Dreicer and Co., New York, 1915; Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

George J. Lee, Selected Far Eastern Art in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 29, no. 43, ill.

Mimi Gardner Gates, The Communion of Scholars: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New York: China House Gallery, 1982), 84–85, no. 36, ill.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983), 98–99, ill.

Maggie Bickford and Mimi Gardner Gates, Bones of Jade, Soul of Ice : the Flowering Plum in Chinese Art (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1985), no. 69.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 295, ill.

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 80, 82, fig. 71.

David Ake Sensabaugh, The Scholar as Collector: Chinese Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2004), 21–22, 43, no. 34, fig. 13.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.