A meiping (Chinese: 梅瓶; pinyin: méipíng; literally: "plum vase", sometimes italicised in English) is a shape of vase in Chinese ceramics. It is traditionally used to display branches of plum blossoms. The meiping was first made of stoneware during the Tang dynasty (618–907). It was originally used as a wine vessel, but since the Song dynasty (960–1279) it also became popular as a plum vase and got its name "meiping". It is tall, with a narrow base spreading gracefully into a wide body, followed by a sharply-rounded shoulder, a short and narrow neck, and a small opening.
They may have lids, and many lids have no doubt been lost. The equivalent shape in Korean ceramics, where it was derived from Chinese examples, is called a Maebyeong. A distinct variant is the "truncated meiping", where there is only the top half of the usual shape, giving a squat vase with a wide bottom. This is largely restricted to Cizhou ware.
Lidded vase with lotus sprays, Qingbai ware, Southern Song period
Yaozhou ware, celadon, Song dynasty
Vase with copper-red underglaze, Ming dynasty
- But not, for example, by the British Museum.
- Welch, Patricia Bjaaland (2008). Chinese art: a guide to motifs and visual imagery. North Clarendon: Tuttle Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8048-3864-1.
- "Prunus Vase (meiping)". Saint Louis Art Museum. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Fire Gilded Silver #Item3755". TK Asian Antiquities. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Meiping". Musée Guimet. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "meiping". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- Osborne, Harold (ed), The Oxford Companion to the Decorative Arts, p. 189, 1975, OUP, ISBN 0198661134
- A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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