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Flowerpot stand

Flowerpot stand

  • Place of origin:

    Jingdezhen (made)

  • Date:

    1690-1722 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain painted in enamel colours

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 136, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 3, shelf 3

This flowerpot stand would have stood proudly in the gardens of a well-off Chinese. The openwork body means that the plant would have been placed inside another pot and this stand served as a handsome 'outer case'. The cultivation of plants, especially rare plants, was considered a refined pastime in imperial China. The scenes depicted on the four sides of this square vessel - men composing poetry, playing chess, drinking and playing the zither, are indirect reference to the fact that gardening ranked equal with those scholarly pursuits.

Physical description

This flowerpot stand is square, with inward-curving lattice-work sides and flanged top. On each side are depicted, under pine trees and surrounded by rocks, a group of men in scholarly pursuits, some writing, some playing chess, some drinking, some about to play the lute (qin). The scenes are painted in overglaze famille verte enamels of green, yellow, aubergine purple, red and black colours. The mark Mushi Ju (Lodge of Wood and Rock) in seal script within a double square is written in white reserve against a black ground on the base.

Terms like mushi (wood and rock) or zhushi (bamboo and rock) were favourite studio names of Qing scholars. It has been reported that the mark Mushi Ju can be found on a large number of porcelains, some of them dated, the dates ranging from 1690 to 1712. It was not customary for an individual to place orders for porcelain over a period of twenty years, therefore Mushi Ju was probably a private kiln. Its products included underglaze blue and famille verte wares.

Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, about 1690-1722

Place of Origin

Jingdezhen (made)


1690-1722 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain painted in enamel colours

Marks and inscriptions

The mark Mushi Ju (Lodge of Wood and Rock) in seal script within a double square is written in white reserve against a black ground on the base.


Height: 17.2 cm, Width: 17.5 cm

Descriptive line

Cer, China, Qing, polychrome


Porcelain; Enamel




Gardens & Gardening; Ceramics


East Asia Collection

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