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Baluster jar: C.714-1991

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Baluster jar






Baluster jar. Hard-paste porcelain painted in underglaze blue. The jar has a short neck, and a rounded rim painted brown. The rounded shoulders taper to a low grooved foot with flat, recessed, glazed base. The lower part of the footrim remains unglazed. The groove is painted with a brown line. Ruyi heads decorate the neck, and the shoulders have four roundels containing characters inscribed 'five sons graduate' reserved on diaper ground. The central scene is painted with five sons successful in the examinations returning home to their father, each with an attendant and a parasol, and visiting the Queen Mother of the West in the Moon, a hare with a pestle and mortar near her feet, above ruyi-shaped lappets round the foot.


History note: Purchased from Sotheby's, 20 July 1933, Sydney Vacher Collection, for £10.0s.0d, and described as of astronomical significance, Lot 57; Henry Scipio Reitlinger (d. 1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by H.S. Reitlinger, 1950; transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 1991.

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 17.2 cm
Height: 19.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


15th Century-16th Century#
Circa 1400 - 1600

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Hard-paste porcelain, thrown, decorated in underglaze-blue
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: scratched cross in brown

  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: round, white, serrated

  • Text: 200
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.714-1991
Primary reference Number: 21233
Old object number: CHICER/224
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Baluster jar" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-17 09:02:35

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{{cite web|url= |title=Baluster jar |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-17 09:02:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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