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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.728

  • Description

    Porcelain fish bowl with rounded sides and thickened rim. There are two five-clawed dragons among lingzhi scrolls in underglaze blue with yellow overglaze enamel on the exterior, and ruyi heads around the rim.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 39 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        beneath the rim
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明萬里年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Wanli nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Great Ming dynasty Wanli era
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Wanli 1573-1620Room 95 label text:

    PDF 728

    Large vat with dragons


    Potters fired this large vat twice painting some of the design in underglaze blue and then firing it again with overglaze yellow to complete the design. The Wanli emperor may have used such vats as aquaria and to grow water plants.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue and overglaze yellow
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.24, no.29 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.27, no.728, colour p.19 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.32, no.84, pl.VIII bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case27/sh1

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.728

Porcelain fish bowl with rounded sides and thickened rim. Underglaze blue with yellow overglaze enamel. Two five-clawed dragons among lingzhi scrolls on exterior, with ruyi heads around the rim. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Porcelain fish bowl with rounded sides and thickened rim. Underglaze blue with yellow overglaze enamel. Two five-clawed dragons among lingzhi scrolls on exterior, with ruyi heads around the rim. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39060

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