Slops jar (zhadou)


Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 1450-1521
Porcelain with cobalt under colorless glaze
Jingdezhen ware
H x W: 10.8 x 14.9 cm (4 1/4 x 5 7/8 in)
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, flower, fruit, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), porcelain, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Edward T. Chow 1910 - 1980
Mathias Komor 1909 - 1984


Jars of this shape, known in Chinese as zhadou, are called "slops jars" and they were primarily used to hold table refuse--food scraps and dregs of tea and wine. Another name for the shape that was commonly used especially in early twentieth-century writings about Chinese porcelain is "leys jar"; sometimes the term "spittoon" is also used.

Both the inside and outside of the jar are adorned with naturalistic sprays of fruiting and flowering branches. While reign marks were commonly written on imperial porcelains from the Xuande period (1426-1435) onward, that was not always the case. This object does not have a reign mark and scholars differ in their opinion as to its date. Perhaps it was made during the Chenghua reign (1465--87), but it might date as late as the Zhengde reign (1506-21).

Published References
  • Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 28, fig. 23.
  • Geng Baochang. Ming Qing ci qi jian ding. Beijing. fig. 215.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 33.
  • Report of the Secretary and the Financial Report, 1953. Washington. p. 55, pl. 2.
  • Li Hui-lin. Garden Flowers of China. Chronica Botanica, An International Biological and Agricultural Series, no. 19 New York. pl. 16.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum