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Chinese Ceramics
Dragon wine cup

Cup with dragon
Qing dynasty (1662–1911)
Porcelain, glaze
1.8 in. high x 2.25 in. diameter
Estate of
Mr. and Mrs. Wilmont Gordon

[click on images for larger view]

Dragon charger

Charger (large platter)
with dragon
Qing dynasty (AD 1644–1911)
Kangxi period (1662–1722)
Porcelain, enamel, glaze
4 in. high x 14.25 in. diameter
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bayly

Section 3:

Fit for the Emperor

16th year of the Kangxi reign (European year 1677)
Dear Cousin:
I wanted to share my good news with you. It may not sound very exciting to you in the army, but I am thrilled because I have just passed my exam to be an official of the Chinese government! I will be very proud to serve, the Kangxi emperor, in the Imperial Parks Department. There we will supervise the rebuilding of the great kilns at Jingdezhen, destroyed by rebels during the turmoil that followed the end of the Ming dynasty.

As you know, the Kangxi emperor is a great emperor, the second of the Qing dynasty. He is truly like the imperial dragon that appears on the ceramics, clothing, and furniture that only he is allowed to use. With the help of you and the army, he has helped bring China together again. It is once again the center of the universe.
Dragon claw
See the green five-clawed dragon twisting through the clouds on this plate? The five claws tell us this is an imperial dragon. [view Chinese Symbols]


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Updated 2/12/2001 USC Pacific Asia Museum  Copyright&Credits
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