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Plate with grape design, inscribed with the name of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan
Place of Origin: China, Jingdezhen kilns, Jiangxi province
Historical Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Reign of the Xuande emperor (1426-1435)
Materials: Porcelain with underglaze cobalt decoration
Style or Ware: qinghua ware
Dimensions: H. 3 in x Diam. 14 3/4 in, H. 7.6 cm x Diam. 37.5 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B65P6
On Display: No

Description

Label: An inscription on the foot of this plate indicates that it once belonged to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658). Although numerous foreign luxury items were amassed by the Mughals, few Chinese porcelains can be linked definitively with them.

The designs on the vessel—three grape clusters encircled by twelve flowers and a border of waves—are among the decorative motifs associated with fifteenth-century Chinese blue-and-white porcelains. Production of these wares appears to have been especially stimulated by foreign demand. Apart from the Mughal emperors, the Ottoman sultans and the Persian Safavid shahs also prized Chinese porcelains. Their extensive royal collections were preserved, respectively, in the Topkapi Palace (Istanbul, Turkey) and in the Safavid dynastic shrine (Ardebil, Iran). The appeal of Chinese blue-and-white wares to all of these Muslim rulers lay in the wares' visual beauty and relative scarcity as well as in the belief that their color would change if touched by poison.

More Information

Inscriptions: On the side of the foot is an inscription written in Perso-Arabic style etched into the glaze. It reads "Shah Jahan, son of Shah Jahangir, 1054 AH (1644 CE)" indicating that this plate was once in his collection.
Exhibition History: "Romance of the Taj Mahal", LACMA (12/17/1989-3/11/1990), The Toledo Museum of Art (4/29/1990-6/24/1990), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (8/23/1990-11/25/1990)
Label: An inscription on the foot of this plate indicates that it once belonged to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658). Although numerous foreign luxury items were amassed by the Mughals, few Chinese porcelains can be linked definitively with them.

The designs on the vessel—three grape clusters encircled by twelve flowers and a border of waves—are among the decorative motifs associated with fifteenth-century Chinese blue-and-white porcelains. Production of these wares appears to have been especially stimulated by foreign demand. Apart from the Mughal emperors, the Ottoman sultans and the Persian Safavid shahs also prized Chinese porcelains. Their extensive royal collections were preserved, respectively, in the Topkapi Palace (Istanbul, Turkey) and in the Safavid dynastic shrine (Ardebil, Iran). The appeal of Chinese blue-and-white wares to all of these Muslim rulers lay in the wares' visual beauty and relative scarcity as well as in the belief that their color would change if touched by poison.
Inscriptions: On the side of the foot is an inscription written in Perso-Arabic style etched into the glaze. It reads "Shah Jahan, son of Shah Jahangir, 1054 AH (1644 CE)" indicating that this plate was once in his collection.
Exhibition History: "Romance of the Taj Mahal", LACMA (12/17/1989-3/11/1990), The Toledo Museum of Art (4/29/1990-6/24/1990), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (8/23/1990-11/25/1990)