Small Porcelain Luxuries from China

chinese decorative

Peach-shaped Water Container
Chinese, 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Porcelain with turquoise enamel glaze on unglazed biscuit
Gift of Birgit Faber Morse in honor of Elizabeth and Sidney N. Morse, 2011.417

In the Chinese Decorative Arts Gallery

March – August 2012

Luxurious objects that are both functional and decorative have long been treasured by Chinese scholars, officials and wealthy merchants. Small porcelain vases, water containers and cups of elegant shapes, often with experimental glazes and/or symbolic decoration were intended for use and display on desks, tables or shelves. The exhibited examples all date from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Governing the world's largest and most prosperous country, the Yongzheng, Kangxi, and Qianlong emperors were patrons of both art and literature during the eighteenth century.

The objects on view were part of the collection of the late Elizabeth and Sidney N. Morse, Sr. Born in 1896 Sydney Morse grew up in Boston and attended Harvard University. He gained a lifelong appreciation of Chinese ceramics when working for his father's import-export business in the Philippines and by travelling to many other Asian countries (1916-21). Mrs. Birgit Faber-Morse has donated these works (along with other Asian objects) to the Worcester Art Museum, in honor of her parents-in-law.

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