Where is it from?

Association locations map

Similar items over time

Bowl - Porcelain, Fruit Trees, China, Late Qing Dynasty, Daoguang Period, 1821-1850 Object Reg. No: HT 22556

Porcelain bowl with painted enamel decoration in the 'famille jaune' palette with green fruit trees on a yellow background and wooden stand, manufactured in China during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Daoguang period, 1821-1850.

In the early eighteenth century in Jingdezhen in the Jiangxi Province, a town with a long established history of ceramic production, a decorative style of overpainting the base glaze in enamels developed called 'famille rose', or 'soft colours', and was known in Chinese as 'fencai'. The style incorporated a broader palette of colours than had previously been used, allowing for items of more complexity to be depicted.

In the nineteenth century, a variation of this ornamental style developed that used coloured enamels painted over a yellow ground, called 'famille janue'. This porcelain bowl, decorated in the 'famillie jaune' palette, carries the mark of the eighth Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Daoguang (1820-1850) on the underside.

Only three exhibitors displayed ceramic ware under Class 20, Pottery, in the Chinese Court at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, but the comparisons made against examples of ceramics on display in the Japanese Court were particularly unfavourable. As the Official Record of the Exhibition noted: 'The exhibit of porcelain was very indifferent, and although a few of the vases were old and rare, neither the shape nor the designs were delicate or choice'.

In part, such negative views reflected broader social and political issues relating to the Chinese population in Australia at the end of the nineteenth century. While Japan had only relatively recently opened to Western trade in a substantial way in 1868, and was seen as new, cultured and refined, China was regarded as producing items of inferior quality and standard. It was a view not always supported by the quality of the exhibits at the Exhibition.
Deep round bowl on circular wooden stand. Yellow background decorated with green fruit trees and birds. Simple wooden foot with three low feet. Lots of breaks that have been glued back together.
Acquisition Information:
Cultural Gifts Donation from Dr Will Twycross, 2009
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 60 mm (Height), 125 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, royal exhibition building, chinese art, decorative arts
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, John Twycross Melbourne International Exhibitions Collection
Secondary Classification: International Exhibitions
Tertiary Classification: exhibition heritage
Inscriptions: Signed on underside of bowl's foot in black 'hanzi' (Chinese characters) with the mark of the Daoguang period (1821-1850), denoting the reign of the Emperor Daoguang (October 1820-February 1850).

da qing dao/ guang nian zhi (lit. Big Qing Daoguang year made)

Reading from right to left, top to bottom, it translates as: Made in the Daoguang year [reign] of the Great Qing [Dynasty].
Place & Date Made: China, 1821-1850
Place & Date Exhibited: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880-1881
Collector: Mr John Twycross, Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia, 1880

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No