National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Bowl with Chinese Qing Dynasty (artist)
Bowl with "Rice Grain" Decoration, probably Qianlong period, 1736/1795
porcelain with colorless glaze
overall: 12.5 x 20 cm (4 15/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Widener Collection
Not on View
From the Tour: Chinese Porcelains
Object 12 of 24

This elegant vessel has the shape of a Buddhist monk's begging bowl. Floral decoration is pierced through the body in the so-called "rice-grain" technique. The perforations in the body are filled by the colorless glaze. Incised ruyi lappets surround the rim, and two incised horizontal lines and rising flame motifs surround the foot.

The fabrication technique of this vessel is characteristic of the finest Qianlong period "rice-grain" pieces, and it can be tentatively dated to this period by comparison with marked Qianlong examples.1

(Text by Stephen Little, published in the NGA Systematic Catalogue: Decorative Arts, Part II: Far Eastern Ceramics and Paintings; Persian and Indian Rugs and Carpets)


1. The technique is very similar to a "rice-grain" dish in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, that bears a six-character underglaze blue seal-script mark of the Qianlong period. On the "rice-grain" technique and its history, see Eleanor Hartstone, Rice Grain Porcelain, Boston, 1978.

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