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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Porcelain bowl. The bowl has a white body. There is a Buddhist emblem in 'anhua' slip. There is a mark on the inside.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 64 millimetres
    • Diameter: 197 millimetres
    • Diameter: 63 millimetres (base)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        Four-character Yongle mark in the well.
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Yongle or QingRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A424

    Bowl with hidden decoration of Buddhist emblems

    White is the colour of mourning in China. The Yongle emperor ordered many white porcelain vessels from Jingdezhen with a 甜白tianbai (sweet white) glaze. These were intended for Buddhist ceremonies to mourn his father, the late Hongwu emperor and the late emperor’s wife. By holding such ceremonies, the Yongle emperor reinforced his legitimacy to reign. He personally attended these services to offer incense. Tianbai porcelains have a lustrous quality simply not achieved before or after the Yongle period. Ceramicists have discovered that tianbai wares have a far higher proportion of kaolin in the clay than earlier white wares and a reduced amount of limestone in the glaze, so that potters were able to fire them at a higher temperature.

    Porcelain with anhua decoration and transparent glaze
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, AD 1403–1424


  • Location


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: S. K. de Forest Collection.

  • Department


  • Registration number


White porcelain bowl. Inside decorated with slip anhua design of Buddhist emblems. Mark inside.

White porcelain bowl. Inside decorated with slip anhua design of Buddhist emblems. Mark inside.

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Object reference number: RRC39318

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