Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes E. Meyer (1887-1970), Washington, DC, and Mt. Kisco, NY 
Ruth Meyer Epstein (1921-2007), Scarsdale, NY, given by her parents, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer 
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Ruth Meyer Epstein in 1992 
 According to information included in “Page Report,” dated December 1, 1993, in object file.
 See note 1.
 See Ruth M. Epstein’s Deed of Gift, dated June 9, 1992, in object file.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer (1875-1959) and (1887-1970)
Mrs. Ruth Meyer Epstein 1921-2007
Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration of reeds and birds highlighted with polychrome enamels, Tibetan or Mongolian characters to inner border, exterior with band of underglaze blue dragons chasing the flaming pearls above a band of polychrome waterfowl among lotus.
Six character reign mark on base.
Stylized foreign inscription with Tibetan and Sanskrit elements on frieze around interior of bowl rim, in dark blue cobalt oxide, which as a translation of Tibetan into Chinese, reads: "May the days be auspicious; may the nights be auspicious. May the midday be filled with blessings. May day and night be filled with blessings. May the blessings of the Three Jewels be realized."
Reign mark: cobalt oxide under glaze: six characters in three columns: DaQing Daoguang nianzhi.
In the fifteenth century the Chinese imperial kilns produced porcelain bowls decorated with ducks and inscribed in Tibetan. These inscriptions offered a promise of good fortune for Buddhist believers. Beginning in the eighteenth century, the imperial kilns resumed making bowls with this pattern, but the inscription had become corrupted and was no longer written in Tibetan script. As seen on this nineteenth-century bowl, the writing reproduces the Sanskrit alphabet, but with several mistakes. Some letters are invented forms that appear to be a misunderstanding of a special form of Tibetan ritual script. Most members of the Chinese court could not read Tibetan or Sanskrit, but they nevertheless assumed the writing to be an effective Buddhist invocation.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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