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AUA Oriental Art

Blue and White 'Three Friends Of Winter' Jar, C 1725, Qing Dynasty, Yongzheng Era

Blue and White 'Three Friends Of Winter' Jar, C 1725, Qing Dynasty, Yongzheng Era

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"Three Friends of Winter" motif: pine (song), bamboo (zhu), and plum (prunus or mei), which are known for their ability to thrive during the winter months. The pine and plum blossom in cold conditions, while the bamboo remains upright under the weight of snow, collectively representing steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience. This motif became a popular auspicious design by the 17th century, not only in ceramics but also in wood carvings and paintings of the period.

An example of this motif can be seen in a saucer-dish from the Qing dynasty, specifically from the Qianlong period (1736-1795). The dish features the "Three Friends of Winter" in underglaze cobalt blue, centered within a medallion. This design reflects a combination of aesthetic beauty and symbolic meaning, illustrating the high level of craftsmanship and cultural significance embodied in Qing dynasty ceramics​

Period : Qing Dynasty, Yongzheng Period
Production Date : C 1725
Made in : Jingdezhen
Destination : Netherland
Found/Acquired : Southeast Asia , South China Sea, Ca Mau ship
Size : 24cm(Height) x 11cm(Diameter)
Condition : Excellent
Reference : Double checked with reference to the original catalogues
1) Tau Co Ca Mau(The Ca Mau Shipwreck) Catalogue 2002 / The National Museum of Vietnamese History
2) THE CA MAU SHIPWRECK PORCELAIN : from the Collection of Dr.Zelnik , 2000
3) Sotheby’s Amsterdam, 2007 : Made In Imperial China / Sotheby's
4) Asian Ceramic Found along Maritime Silk Route / National Maritime Museum of Korea


* The Ca Mau Cargo

The Ca Mau Cargo refers to a Chinese cargo sunken sometime between 1723 and 1735 off the coast of Vietnam’s farthest point in the South China Sea, discovered by Vietnamese fishermen in 1998. It is believed the ship was a Chinese merchant’s cargo on its way from Canton (Guangzhou) to Batavia when it caught fire and sank. The merchant had ordered the goods on board for Dutch traders, who had limited access to China and its ports.

* Porcelain for the European Market

The Ca Mau Cargo consisted of numerous types of porcelain, chinaware and blue and white wares, all designed for the European market. Blue and white ceramics recovered from the cargo appear decorated with the so-called ‘Scheveningen landscape’, also known as ‘Deshima décor’. This motif usually depicted a traditional Dutch fishing village, executed in Chinese style. Chinese wares with Western motives were extremely popular and made to order and were known as ‘China de commande’.

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