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bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.655

  • Description

    Large porcelain bowl (gang) with round sides and thickened straight rim. There are two fish dragons, waves and clouds around the body, and a band of classic scrolls between two double rings round the rim and the bottom. There is a mark on the base, which is unglazed. The central hole inside has been plugged.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 566 millimetres
    • Weight: 18.5 kilograms
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Position

        along the rim
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明宣德年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Xuande nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Ming dynasty, Xuande reign
      • Inscription Comment

        Six character Xuande mark in a horizontal line along the rim
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming 15th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 655

    Gang (large bowl) with dragons


    This magnificent heavily-potted 缸 (gang ‘bowl’) is painted in underglaze cobalt- blue with a design of two flying dragons amid swirling and crashing waves. The dragons have wings, a long snout and open jaws. Above the band of classic scroll at the thickened rim is a six-character Xuande reign mark. The inside is glazed. Similar, slightly larger Xuande-period fish bowls have been excavated at Zhushan, Jingdezhen. The emperor ordered them to use as aquarium for fish or for growing water plants, either within the palace or in the palace gardens. Technically, potters found them extremely difficult to produce without warping in the kiln. Very few examples survive today.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD1426—35

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 95 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.25, no.655, pl.II bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.34, no.655 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case43

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450' PROMISED

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.655

Large porcelain bowl (gang) with round sides and thickened straight rim, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Two fish dragons, waves and clouds round the body, and with a band of classic scrolls between two double rings round the rim and the bottom. The base is unglazed, and the central hole inside has been plugged. Mark on rim.

Large porcelain bowl (gang) with round sides and thickened straight rim, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Two fish dragons, waves and clouds round the body, and with a band of classic scrolls between two double rings round the rim and the bottom. The base is unglazed, and the central hole inside has been plugged. Mark on rim.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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