Porcelain in the Victoria and Albert Museum

In the new porcelain galleries opened in 2009 (on level 6) there are many items depicting Go (or on some items it may represent Chinese Chess (Xiangqi)). Unless otherwise stated they were made in the 1662 to 1722 period in Jingdezhen, the centre of Chinese porcelain manufacture. The first number shown is gallery number / case number / shelf. Those in numbered cases in gallery 137 are just stacked on glass shelves and not labelled so are sometimes hard to see. Often of course the Go element is turned away from the front of the case.

  • 136/3/3 Vam catalogue entry A 25 cm ceramic plaque to attach to furniture showing two ladies playing on an ornate table, whilst a third watches.

  • 136/3/3 Vam catalogue entry A 17 cm openwork flowerpot stand showing the scholarly pursuits. Two men are playing at a green table, under a tree, while two more watch and a fifth sits under a tree nearby.

  • 136/3/5 Vam catalogue entry A small (8 cm D) black incense burner and stand with plum blossom on the sides and emblems, such as a Chess or Go board, on the lid.

  • 136/4/5 Vam catalogue entry A blue underglazed jar and lid (8 cm D 11 cm H) shows three women on a terrace with two playing Chess (or Go).

  • 136/5/6 Vam catalogue entry A 24 cm overglaze enamel painted and gilded octagonal dish. Two men sit at adjacent sides of a table to play Go, while three more stand nearby. They are on a terrace with views of distant hills.

  • 136/8/6 Vam catalogue entry A white 16 cm flat dish with rim, one of a pair, painted in coloured enamels. It shows a man on a sofa playing against a lady on a stool, with the board on a wooden table, while another lady watches.

  • 137/F/2 Vam catalogue entry A blue underglaze stem cup (11 cm H 15 cm D) from before 1600. Around the outside are depicted scholars two of whom are engaged in a game of Chess or Go.

  • 137/O/3 Vam catalogue entry A Japanese Kakeimon-type inkstand (18 cm H) from Arita c1700. Shows a boy in a leotard, with two small monkeys behind him, sitting on a 9x9 Go board.

  • 137/9/8 Vam catalogue entry A four-side vase (53 cm H) with symbols such as a lyre and a Go or Chess board on its shoulder.

  • 137/9/8 Vam catalogue entry A painted overglaze vase (46cm H) showing an emperor in a building playing Go or Chess.

  • 137/10/5 Vam catalogue entry A blue underglaze bowl (6 cm H 20 cm D) showing three men sitting around a tree stump in a wood with two of them with Go bowls ready to start playing on a small board.

  • 137/10/5 Vam catalogue entry A blue underglaze bowl (10 cm H 20 cm D) with a wavy top, stacked inside another bowl autumn 2011. Shows two ladies playing outside and other scholarly arts.

  • 137/11/5 Vam catalogue entry An underglaze blue brush pot (15 cm H 18 cm D) showing men on a terrace at scholarly pursuits, including a Go game with two spectators.

  • 137/13/6 Vam catalogue entry A coloured and gilded bowl (6 cm H 12 cm D) showing two ladies at play on a wooden table, with a realistic game position. Same design as the cup and saucer at at 143/9/2.

  • 137/14/3 Vam catalogue entry An imperial yellow vase (60 cm H) from the early 19th century with relief decoration of pot plants and symbols such as a lute and a Chess or Go board.

  • 143/9/2 Vam catalogue entry An overglaze enamels and gilded cup and saucer from about 1750. The cup (4 cm H 7 cm D) shows two ladies playing Go on a wooden table. The saucer (11 cm D) shows two more ladies at play Go seated comfortably at a table, with a boy and two more ladies watching them from behind. Two small dogs playing in front. Same design as the bowl at 137/13/6.

  • 145/6/3 Vam catalogue entry A blue underglaze cup and saucer. The cup (4 cm H 6 cm D) and saucer (10 cm D) both shows ladies in a garden, two of whom are seated plaing Chess (or Go).


















In autumn 2011 there was also a blue underglaze porcelain jar (about 50 cm) from around 1400 in a temporary exhibition. It showed two men playing Chess (or Go).



Last updated Tue Nov 11 2014. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.