EastWest Gallery - Chinese, Japanese and English Ceramics.
Rare Ko Imari Shun and the Elephants Dish c.1760 No 2

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Rare Ko Imari Shun and the Elephants Dish c.1760  No 2

An unusual dish decorated with a relief moulded pattern of a pair of Elephants and the Confucian paragon Shun, with several lines of text. The story is taken from the Neo-Confucian text on filial piety known as the “Twenty four Exemplars” by Guo Jujing, which recounts the story of Shun, whose selfless acts of filial piety brought him to the attention of the Emperor, who married his daughter to him and subsequently made him his heir. This is one of the examples of his selflessness, sent by his father to clear land in the wilderness; he is aided in his task by herds of Elephants and flocks of birds. "Herds of Elephants plough in the Spring, Flocks of birds pull the weeds; He is the heir of Yao and mounts its Throne; the spirit of filial piety moves the Heart of Heaven". The bowl measures 15.5cm in diameter and stands approximately 4.5cm high. The mark to the reverse identifies the dish as being produced at the Higuchi kiln in the Nangawara valley. An identical dish is illustrated in the “Complete Catalogue of the Shibata Collection” no 3476 at page 442, and is dated 1760-80. The dish is in overall good condition, except for several small pin head sized frit chips to the iron brown glaze to the rim.

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