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Between and Mortarboard

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Meiping vase

Accession Number

Meiping vase


Object Creation Date
Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662 - 1722)

Medium & Support
porcelain with glaze

13 in. (33.02 cm)

Credit Line
Promised gift of William C. Weese, M.D., LSA ‘65

Subject matter
During the Qing Dynasty, when China was under Manchu rule, the color yellow was reserved for the exclusive use of the imperial family; it was found in royal architecture, decorative arts, and textiles. A bottle-vase of meiping (梅瓶) form, named thus because its shape is suitable to hold a branch of prunus blossom, of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

This is a Yellow Mei Ping ceramic vase that dates to the reign of Kangxi Emperor (1654-1722, reigned 1661-1722). “Mei Ping” means “plum vase” and was originally used to hold plum blossom branches. This vase was made in Jingdezhen, located in the southeast part of China. Because of their long history of producing high-quality porcelain wares, they are called “Porcelain City.” In Chinese dynasties, yellow is a prestigious color associated with the Emperor. Yellow is linked to the Yellow River which was where Chinese civilization began. In China, the dragon symbolizes the Emperor and therefore represents imperial power. In Chinese mythology, the yellow dragon is the incarnation of the Yellow Emperor who is the center of the universe.

Physical Description
This yellow Meiping vase has a thin base that widens towards the top and is followed by a round shoulder, a narrow neck, and small opening that slightly flares out. Carved one the surface of the vase are patterns of clouds and dragons.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Chinese yellow

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