Blue and white saucer dish painted with a prowling tiger standing with one foot on the edge of a rocky promontory beside pine branches issuing from rockwork beneath stylised clouds and the moon beneath a single underglaze blue ring, the underside with four stylised pearls and satellite dots.

5 5/8 inches, 14.3cm diameter.

Tianqi/Chongzhen, 1625-1635.


Available on request.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • This dish was included by T. Edo Inouye & Son, Tokyo, Japan, and is one of the pieces illustrated on the front cover in their 10th anniversary special exhibition of Ko-sometsuke, Selected and Collected 100 Various Small Dishes in the Late Ming Dynasty, 44.
  • A set of five similar dishes, four with a complete pine tree, one similar with the pine issuing from rockwork, from the Effie B. Allison collection, gift of J.V.West and B.V.Gewald and lent by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, are illustrated by Julia B. Curtis in Trade, Taste and Transformation, Jingdezhen Porcelain for Japan, 1620-1645, where the author mentions that these dishes demonstrate the humour and charm Jingdezhen potter painters could bring to the depiction of ferocious animals. “In China, the tiger is one of the four directional animals; it represents the West and is often paired with the dragon, symbol of the East. The tiger is also the attribute of Fenggan, one of Chinese Buddhism’s san sheng “saintly persons of unofficial status” and associate of Hanshan and Shide, all from The Tiantai Mountain.
  • Another tiger dish was included by S. Marchant & Son in their exhibition of Transitional Wares for the Japanese and Domestic Markets, June 1989, no.23, p.23.
  • The design is popular for tea ceremony use when the guest of honour is a military man.