HvWO 176

Large collection of antique Chinese porcelain purchased in Oman

Slide-Show: A collection of antique Chinese porcelain purchased in Oman

The slide-show shows photos of a pottery  collection consisting mostly of low cost (provincial) Chinese pottery / porcelain:

a) Chinese ginger-jars and other pots typically used to store honey. The jar  with the blue and milk-white and bottom with blue circle is probably 17th cent. See ref 1 for article on Omani honey

b) Large rice bowls. The "dragonchasing pearl" rice bowls are quite rare and valuable. Origin maybe south east Asia rather than China?

c) Plates (these plates are extremely difficult to date, and  some could be older as the time-range indicated (same designs already used during the Ming period)

After the opening of the Suez canal (late 1869) Ceramics and many other goods were increasingly imported from Europe to Zanzibar and Oman, due to a large reduction in the cost of transportation.

Antique Chinese gingerpot OmanAntique Chinese gingerpot Oman

Antique Chinese gingerpot OmanAntique Chinese Ricebowl Oman dragon chasing flaming pearl

Two identical large rice-bowls with "dragon chasing flaming pearl design bought in Nizwa

From south East Asia dated pre 1800.

The pearl is associated with spiritual energy, wisdom, prosperity, power, immortality, thunder, or the moon. The dragon dance movement "dragon chasing the pearl" shows that the dragon is continually in the pursuit of wisdom.

The Chinese dragon dance  is often led by a person holding a spherical object representing a pearl. The dragon dance movement

Antique Chinese gingerpot OmanAntique Chinese gingerpot Oman

Name: A collection of antique Chinese porcelain purchased in Oman

Period: 1780-1840

Origin: China (one or two items may be Japanese and the rare early bowls maybe from south east Asia) Purchased in the Mutrah souq during the early 1980´s .


Youtube film about beekeeping Oman:



  1. Throw down the anchor The story of the Muttrah souq by Maxine Burden, centre for Omani dress, Muscat Media Group 2014 pages 210-211 contains an article on Omani honey.
  2. British Museum online   Ingrams Collection 2014,2011.119 and 2014,2011.121 Identical Chinese rice bowls (with the painted  floral and calligraphic motifs)  Width 24 cm
  3.  2015 The Sultan's Spymaster Peera Dewjee of Zanzibar by Judy Aldrick published by Old Afrika books Kenya. page 271 "Decorative plates have a long history on the East African coast as they were used as ornamentation on graves and displayed on the walls and in the niches of Arab and Swahili houses...... European goods (incl ceramics)  came to Zanzibar (and Oman) in increasing quantities after the opening of the Suez  Canal late 1869.
  4. Documents sur l'Histoire , la Geographie et le Commerce de l'Afrique Orientale, vol 3 Paris A. Bertrand 1856 p 347 "Most of the porcelain is of Chinese origin an comes almost entirely (comment: during first half 19th century) from Bombay whose annual export of this commodity to the African coast is worth  12.000 rupees" Comment: this export of Chinese ceramics from Bombay most probably also applies to Oman.