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Updated: 14 April 2015
cover / bowl
Porcelain bowl with domed cover. There are two five-clawed dragons among clouds in underglaze cobalt blue on the sides and on the lid. There are marks inside the lid and the bowl.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 103 millimetres
- Diameter: 175 millimetres
Inscription Typereign mark
Inscription Positioninside the lid and the bowl
Inscription TransliterationDa Ming Xuande nian zhi
Inscription TranslationMade in the Ming dynasty, Xuande reign
Inscription CommentSix character Xuande mark in a double circle in underglaze blue inside the lid and the bowl
Published PDF date : Ming XuandeRoom 95 label text:
Box-bowl and cover
The shape of this bowl with its angular profile and slightly domed cover was invented in the Xuande era and is called a 盒碗 (hewan ‘box bowl’). Porcelain decorators painted it with a dragon on both sides chasing a flaming pearl among clouds using underglaze cobalt-blue. The bowl is marked inside with a six-character Xuande reign mark in a double ring which is repeated inside the cover.
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
Ming dynasty, Xuande marks and period, AD1426–35
4 February 2009
Reason for treatment
Try to clean crack
Old restorations on base, stained yellow/brown. Staining on base from old adhesive. Chip on base. Surface dirt. Waxy substance around rim, possibly the lid was stuck onto the bowl. Inside the base of the bowl is worn and scratched. The lid has a waxy substance around the rim and surface dirt.
Dismantled base on bowl using Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) on cotton wool and covered with cling film. Removed cotton wool and picked excess adhesive out with a scalpel. Steam cleaned the base of the bowl with de-ionised water. The joins came apart easily, 3 in total. The base rim had been previously bonded with a waxy substance. Steam cleaned all edges to be joined and to remove staining from break edges. Applied Laponite RD (sodium magnesium lithium silicate) onto wet Japanese tissue paper over the stained break edges to try and draw the stain out, covered with cling film. Removed before fully drying and steam cleaned the break edges. Applied Laponite 3 times, steam cleaning in between each application. The Laponite removed some staining, but not all. Applied Ariel automatic (anionic and non ionic synthetic surfactants, sodium tripolyphosphate) dissolved in warm water and applied onto cotton wool swabs on the break edges. Covered with cling film, removed after a day and steam cleaned the break edges. Reapplied application twice. Allowed to dry fully for two weeks under a cover to prevent dirt and dust contaminating the clean break edges. Bonded joins with fresh Fynebond epoxy resin coloured slightly with titanium white dry ground pigment. Gap filled with Fynebond which was bulked heavily with Aerosil 805 fumed silica and coloured with artists' dry ground pigments. Resin was applied with a metal spatula, allowed to cure fully for 2 days, then softened with Acetone on a cotton wool swabs and shaved back to the correct size. Resin was allowed to cure for a further 2 days before being polished with Micromesh fine abrasive cloth (silicon carbide/aluminium oxide) grades 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12000. Object was further cleaned with a 50:50 solution of de-ionised water and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) applied on a cotton wool swab and dried with a paper towel. Retouched gap fill with Golden acrylic paints. Numbered both the bowl and the lid with Rotring black Indian ink sealing surface first with 20% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer)in Acetone.
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Object reference number: RRC39018
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