Kamcheng

The origin of the word 'kamcheng' is uncertain. It has been interpreted variously as a Hokkien term for 'covered jar' or more literally, 'covered teacup'. In Mandarin, the term translates into 'gai zhong' (盖重, 'covered soup measure'). Kamchengs are typically decorated with designs of symbolic motifs, including the phoenix and peony, as well as decorative bands with the auspicious Eight Buddhist Emblems (around the rim of the cover), and lotus petal panels (around the foot of the jar). These distinctive jars come with domed covers, the larger of which, are crowned with a Buddhist lion-dog, while the smaller ones, like this example, have a finial in the form of a peach.The kamcheng has various functions and was made in a wide variety of sizes and colours. In general, it was used for storing drinking water, soups, desserts, and pickles for special occasions. The miniature versions were used as cosmetic containers while the largest ones were reportedly used as decorative status symbols for wealthy families.

Date/Period
Late 19th-early 20th centuries
Region
China
Dimension
Gross measurement: H: 11.0 x W: 13.6 x D: 11.4cm
Accession No.
2006-00992
Material
Porcelain
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Ceramics