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15 février 2024

Vessel in the shape of an archaic jue, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

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Vessel in the shape of an archaic jue, Qianlong reign (1736-1795). Porcelain with underglaze blue decor, 12.07 x 11.43 x 6.67 cm. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hodroff, 95.98.77a,b. ©  Minneapolis Institute of Art.

The shape of this tripod vessel, called jue, derives from ancient Shang dynasty (1100s–1000s BCE) ritual bronzes of the same name. Those bronzes were used for the ceremonial heating and drinking of wine. But this cup and stand probably served as a small water container or brush washer. Blue-and-white porcelain did not typically take the organic forms, inspired by nature, that the Chinese literati preferred, but as the reference here is to China’s illustrious Bronze Age, it would have made this piece acceptable to them.

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