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Blue-and-White Charger with Paired Birds Design, Vietnamese, 15th Century, d..41.5cm. Gift of SUMITOMO Group, the ATAKA Collection. Acc. No. 40683. The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka. © 2009 The Museum of Oriental Ceramics,Osaka

There are many examples of large dishes among Vietnamese blue-and-white ware extant in Japan. The arrangement of this design, with two sharp-beaked birds facing each other, is reminiscent of Chinese phoenix designs, but the overall impression is quite different. These birds have a wild power and intensity, along with an exhilarating sense of speed. The lines of the baoxiang-hua floral scroll are also different from Chinese blue-and-white decoration. The clay body has a slight grayish tint. The outstanding decoration of this dish has made it a world-famous masterpiece.