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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ding porcelain dish, with copper-bound mouth rim. Creamy white. There is a three-clawed dragon carved on interior.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1115-1234
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 57 millimetres
    • Diameter: 297 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : 11thC-12thCRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 159

    Dish with three-clawed dragon

    This dish is incised with a beautiful design of a dragon inside. The base and foot of both are glazed. Between AD 1086 and AD 1127, Ding potters pioneered the technique of fushao (firing a vessel upside down on its rim). Kiln managers saved on fuel by firing a greater number of pots at one time, stacking them in stepped saggars. The disadvantage was the unglazed mouth rim, cleaned free of glaze to avoid the vessel sticking to the saggar. Craftsmen used sheet copper and occasionally gold or silver, cut to size and heated to fit the rims to hide this flaw. Historical accounts suggest that dressing the rim with metal actually enhanced the status of the clay vessel.

    Stoneware with carved decoration, transparent glaze and copper rim mount
    Ding ware定窯
    Quyang county, Hebei province 河北省, 曲陽縣
    Jin dynasty, about AD 1115–1234


  • Bibliography

    • Pierson 2001 p. 69, no. 66 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p. 94, pl. XCIII bibliographic details
    • Medley 1980 p.12, no.14, pl. III bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    20 August 2009

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Improve discoloured restorations.


    Two old restorations were found on the rim of the plate protruding beneath the metal rim. When the discoloured overpaint was removed, two uneven plaster fills were found underneath. These covered up chips on the rim which were discoloured.

    Treatment details

    The discoloured overpaint was removed from the surface with acetone applied on cotton wool swabs on a satay stick.

    The old plaster fills were then removed manually using a scalpel blade.

    The chip underneath was stained and this was removed to an extent using acetone swabs, ariel and light steam cleaning using distilled water.

    The missing areas were then filled with Fynebond an epoxy resin mixed with fumed silica and pigments. Cut back with a scalpel blade and sanded smooth with various grades of abrasive paper.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: From the W. C. Alexander Collection. Margaret Medley 1980 records: R. L. Hobson and A Hetherington, "The Art of the Chinese Potter", Pl. 49. PDF Card: Acquired 1931, lot 41 from Sparks for £140.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Ding porcelain dish, with copper-bound mouth rim. Creamy white.  There is a three-clawed dragon carved on interior.

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Object reference number: RRC38577

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