Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Doing the Dishes

Spent the morning looking into the idealized forms of offering bowls, vases, and trays in the Beer books, and in their infinitely larger and more detailed Chinese cousins, above.

This is the nearest one comes (in real life) to the torma offering bowls one sees in the iconographic handbooks. This particular example is beyond elegance.

Which way does the inspiration run? This piece has all the earmarks of an imperial gift (see below).

Another, simpler form of torma offering bowl. In the grand old days, when everybody decided to get along with everybody else, the Chinese emperors used to send the Dalai Lamas an annual offering. This would typically include ceramics of the highest possible order.


I think a run to Jingdezhen is in the cards, although there are other alternatives. Below is what they are knocking out in Anhui Province these days, enamel and gold over copper:

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