Large dish with Islamic calligraphy

This large dish features a central medallion of two peacocks beneath a blossoming peony in underglaze blue. Surrounding it on the inner wall of the dish are four ogival panels containing landscapes of pavilions, hills, islands and bridges. These ogival panels are separated by four round medallions containing the Arabic inscription from the phrase known as shahadah, as translated: “There is no god, but The God, Muhammad is the Messenger (of God)”. Zhangzhou wares such as this were commonly known as ‘Swatow ware’ due to the erroneous belief that the ware was shipped out from the port of Zhantou (Swatow). These wares were mainly made for export to Japan and Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. Chinese ceramics were highly prized in these places and were used extensively by the nobility and the elite as status symbols.

Early 17th century
Pinghe county, Zhangzhou prefecture, Fujian province, China
Gross measurement: Dia: 42.0 x H: 10.7cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum

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