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jar / cover

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.795

  • Description

    Ovoid porcelain jar with wide mouth, short straight neck, and domed cover. There is a five-clawed dragon and phoenix among prunus scrolls with ornamental borders incised and painted with yellow enamel on a green enamel ground on the interior, a dragon incised and painted on the top of the cover, and flames and blossoms around the sides of the cover. There is a mark in underglaze blue on the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 173 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明萬里年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming Wanli nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made in the Ming dynasty, Wanli reign
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Wanli mark in a double circle in underglaze blue
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Wanli 1573-1620Room 95 label text:

    PDF 795

    Jar and cover with dragons and phoenix


    Potters incised the unglazed but biscuit-fired porcelain body of the jar with a five-clawed dragon on one side, and on the cover, and a phoenix with a five-feathered tail on the other side, both among flowering plants. They applied a high-fired transparent glaze on the inside and on the base, over an underglaze blue mark. The colours, first yellow, then green, were then added to the biscuit-fired body rather than over a glaze. We know the order of their application because the green overlaps the yellow at the edges of the motifs. Although potters first experimented with this colour combination nearly two hundred years earlier in the Yongle period (AD1403–24), the absence of a base coating of glaze, is innovative.


    Porcelain, incised, with underglaze cobalt-blue mark, and yellow and green glazes on the biscuit
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD1573–1620

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 183 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p. 153, pl. CLII bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.36, no.102, pl.IX bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.49, no.795 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 p.79, no.40 (p.94, mark on base) bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006a pp 98-99, no. 40 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case57-4

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: From the Sutton-Pratt Collection. PDF card: Previous owner: Sutton-Pratt Collection, No. 63.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.795

Ovoid porcelain jar with wide mouth, short straight neck, and domed cover. Incised decoration with yellow enamel on a green enamel ground. Five-clawed dragon and phoenix around body among prunus scrolls with ornamental borders. Dragon on surface of cover, with flames and blossoms around the sides. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Ovoid porcelain jar with wide mouth, short straight neck, and domed cover. Incised decoration with yellow enamel on a green enamel ground. Five-clawed dragon and phoenix around body among prunus scrolls with ornamental borders. Dragon on surface of cover, with flames and blossoms around the sides. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39127

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