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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Porcelain bowl with rounded sides and slightly flared rim. The bowl has rich dark copper red glaze, bluish-white at the rim. There are traces of incised lotus panels around the base. There is a bluish white glaze on the base and inner wall of foot-ring.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 97 millimetres
    • Diameter: 207 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF 585

    Bowl with copper-red glaze

    ‘Sacrificial’, fresh or deep red monochrome-glazed porcelain of the Yongle and Xuande era represents the peak of technical achievement at Jingdezhen. As vessels ordered for ritual use by the early fifteenth century Ming emperors, they enjoy a status above that of other porcelains. The skills used to create these extraordinary red glazes were lost in China from the mid-fifteenth century until they were rediscovered in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The glaze has ‘crept’ at the rim of the bowl to reveal the pure whiteness of the porcelain body. This Yongle example has incised stylised lotus lappets around the foot ring. The glassy glaze is covered in tiny pin prick holes like skin pores and the colour possesses an incredible powdery depth, yielding layer upon layer of strong red shades of colour.

    Porcelain with incised design and copper-red glaze
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, AD 1403–24


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 42 and p. 310 bibliographic details
    • Oriental Ceramic Society 1971 p.104, no.145 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1973 p.26, no.585 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 p.67, no.32 (p.94, base) bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989 pp.26-27, no.585 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


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

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    8 April 2009

    Treatment proposal

    Clean. Consolidate moving crack


    Surface dirt. Running crack from rim with movement and staining. Two additional small running cracks with staining

    Treatment details

    Cleaned with distilled water and a few drops of Synperonic N (non ionic detergent, nonylphenol ethylene oxide condensate), using cotton wool swabs. After cleaning, surface rinsed with distilled water on cotton wool. Surface wiped with a dry absorbant tissue to remove any remaining distilled water. All cracks were steam cleaned to remove dirt.

    Ariel automatic (anionic and non ionic synthetic surfactants,sodium tripolyphosphate)on cotton wool strips were applied locally over the cracks on the interior surface and covered with Clingfilm. After leaving overnight the Clingfilm was removed and the cracks steam cleaned to remove dirt and residues. This process was repeated. Following a further steam clean, dirt had been successfuly removed from the smaller cracks however dirt remained within the large running crack.

    Laponite RD (sodium magnesium lithium silicate) was mixed to a gel with distilled water and applied as a poultice to the crack on the exterior surface. Strips of Japanese tissue were used as a barrier layer. After leaving overnight the Laponite was removed and the cracks steam cleaned once more. The dirt had now been successfully removed from all cracks.

    To ensure no significant residues remained, a poultice of cotton wool strips soaked in de-ionised water was applied over the cracks and left to dry. This was repeated three times.

    Where required the cracks were consolidated with 5% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in acetone applied with a micropipette.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Department


  • Registration number


Porcelain bowl with rounded sides and slightly flared rim. Rich dark copper red glaze, bluish-white at the rim. Traces of incised lotus panels around the base. Bluish white glaze on base and inner wall of foot-ring.

Porcelain bowl with rounded sides and slightly flared rim. Rich dark copper red glaze, bluish-white at the rim. Traces of incised lotus panels around the base. Bluish white glaze on base and inner wall of foot-ring.

Image description



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Object reference number: RRC38929

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