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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.550

  • Description

    Porcelain dish with rounded sides and slightly everted rim. The saucer has turquoise glaze on the exterior, plain felspathic glaze on the interior. There are three incised clouds in centre, surrounded by two dragons pursuing pearls and a moulded anhua decoration. There is a mark in underglaze blue on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 34 millimetres
    • Diameter: 180 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • 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 double ring in underglaze blue
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF 550

    Dish with anhua dragons and turquoise glaze


    Craftsmen made this technically accomplished saucer-dish by firing it twice. First, they added an 暗花 (anhua ‘secret or hidden decoration’) of raised slip showing two five-clawed dragons chasing each other and their flaming pearls, in the interior walls and incised three auspicious clouds in the centre into the leather-hard clay. Then they painted a six-character reign mark on the base in underglaze blue and coated the whole dish with a clear glaze. Potters fired the dish at a high-temperature. Next, workers applied a low-temperature turquoise glaze using a brush on the outside of the dish and refired it at a lower temperature, fixing the glaze colour. Archaeologists have excavated dishes of this type at the imperial factory at Zhushan, Jingdezhen.


    Porcelain with anhua, underglaze cobalt-blue, transparent and turquoise glazes
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD 1426–35

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Scott 1989 p.20, no.550 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 p.68, no.33 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1973 pp 19-20, no.550 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc61

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.550

Porcelain saucer with rounded sides and slightly everted rim. Turquoise glaze on outside, plain felspathic glaze on interior. Three incised clouds in centre, surrounded by two dragons pursuing pearls and a moulded anhua decoration. Mark in underglaze blue on base.

Porcelain saucer with rounded sides and slightly everted rim. Turquoise glaze on outside, plain felspathic glaze on interior. Three incised clouds in centre, surrounded by two dragons pursuing pearls and a moulded anhua decoration. Mark in underglaze blue on base.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC38895

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