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Updated: 27 April 2015
Porcelain flask of double gourd form with flattened lower section, strap handles rising from the shoulder, and a rectangular foot. The flask has stylised flower and yin yang symbol in underglaze blue in the centre on one side of lower bulb, a chevron pattern in underglaze blue on the other side, chrysanthemum sprays in underglaze blue on the upper bulb and the base of each strap handle. The base is glazed.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 260 millimetres
Inscription Typereign mark
Inscription Positionbenearth the rim
Inscription TransliterationDa Ming Xuande nian zhi
Inscription TranslationMade in the Ming dynasty, Xuande reign
Inscription CommentSix-character Xuande mark written horizontally beneath the rim
Published PDF date : Ming Xuande 1426-1435Room 95 label text:
This gourd-shaped flask has an underglaze blue Xuande reign mark. Potters decorated the round bodyof the flask with stylised flowers which resemble patterns made by kaleidoscopes. The blue of the Xuande flask is typically much paler than that of the Yongle flask (PDF 674). Syrian craftsmen made metal flasks in this shape in the fourteenth century. The Xuande emperor’s interest in foreign metalwork forms reflects the cordial diplomatic and economic relations between China and countries in the Middle East such as Syria during his reign.
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD 1426–35
2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: 50 years that changed China'
R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'There is a similar flask (unmarked) in the Old Seraglio at Constantinople.'
Porcelain flask of double gourd form with flattened lower section and strap handles rising from the shoulder. Decorated in underglaze blue. Stylised flower and yin yang symbol in the centre on one side of lower bulb and a chevron pattern on the other. Chrysanthemum sprays on upper bulb and the base of each strap handle. Rectangular foot and glazed base.
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Object reference number: RRC38943
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