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flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.674

  • Description

    Porcelain double gourd flask with flattened lower bulb and two strap handles. There is a stylised flower with a yin and yang symbol surrounded by a chevron band in underglaze cobalt blue in the centre of lower bulb on each side, and a lotus spray on the base of each handle, with chevron bands and parallel lines on neck and upper bulb.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 260 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Xuande 1426-1435Room 95 label text:

    PDF 674

    Gourd-shaped flask


    This gourd-shaped flask has an elegant shape. Potters decorated the round body with stylised flowers which resemble patterns made by kaleidoscopes. The blue of this Yongle flask is typically much darker than that of the Xuande flask (PDF 600). Syrian craftsmen made metal flasks in this shape in the fourteenth century. The Yongle emperor’s interest in foreign metalwork forms reflects his expansionist interests and a return to cordial diplomatic and economic relations between China and countries in the Middle East such as Syria.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, AD 1403–24

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1976 p.29, no.674 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.43, no.674 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case59-2

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: 50 years that changed China' PROMISED

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.674

Porcelain double gourd flask with flattened lower bulb and two strap handles, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Stylised flower with a yin anf yang symbol in the centre of lower bulb on each side, with a chevron band. Lotus spray on the base of each handle, with chevron bands and parallel lines on neck and upper bulb.

Porcelain double gourd flask with flattened lower bulb and two strap handles, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Stylised flower with a yin anf yang symbol in the centre of lower bulb on each side, with a chevron band. Lotus spray on the base of each handle, with chevron bands and parallel lines on neck and upper bulb.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39008

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