Skip Navigation

Shang Vase

Asian Art

This vase is part of a pair that entered the Museum's collection in 1932, but slight differences in size and decoration indicate that they were made at different times although following the same design. This form of Bottle Vase appears in the Song Dynasty (960–1279) as an archaistic revival of ancient bronze vessels, and the design of flowers connected by a scrolling vine is an adaptation of a Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) pattern. The Qing imperial court looked back to the Song and the Ming as two of the greatest eras of ceramic production, and the combination of a Song form and Ming decorative patterns is a Qing homage to China's past as a source of artistic excellence.

MEDIUM Porcelain with cobalt underglaze decoration
  • Place Made: Jiangxi, China
  • DATES 1736–1795
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    PERIOD Qianlong Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (36.2 x 22.5 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 32.1032.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Curved mouth that flares out; long neck; oval body; slightly flaring circular foot. Cobalt-blue underglaze design, consisting of ocean wave patterns, similar to ruyi, banana leaf pattern, fret-scroll (huiwen), interlocking lotus flowers. Lotus flowers mean "qingbai lianjie," or "pure and honest." 6-character inscription: "Made during the Qianlong reign of the Great Qing." Unglazed base of foot-ring. Clear glaze covers rest of vase. Object for bestowing reward. Condition: Intact. Old Accession Card for 32.1032: Large bottle shaped vases with spreading feet of medium height, globular bodies with three raised ridges, a double one on the lower part of the shoulder, a single one in the middle of the shoulder, and another one at the base of the neck, and a tall neck, broad at the base, then tapering inwards and finally swelling again somewhat at the mouth. White glazed porcelain decorated on the foot with a leaf scroll border, just above that on the body with a border of false gadroons, then a broad band of peonies and leaf scrolls, and above that, between the raised ridges, ju i [ruyi] heads and more peonies and leaf scrolls. At the base of the neck is a fret border, with tall stiff leaves above. Beneath the mouth rim is a second ju i head border and a broad wave pattern. All these designs are painted in a dark rather dull underglaze blue, rather mottled and speckled. The inside and the base are glazed white, and on the base is a six character Ch'ien Lung [Qianlong] seal mark in a rather misty underglaze blue.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Shang Vase, 1736–1795. Porcelain with cobalt underglaze decoration, 14 1/4 x 8 7/8 in. (36.2 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.1032.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.1032.2_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 32.1032.2_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.