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pen-tray

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.748

  • Description

    Rectangular porcelain pen tray with round sides and everted rim. There are dragons in wucai-style underglaze blue and overglaze red, yellow and green overglaze enamel on the long sides, ruyi clouds on the short sides, and a band of key frets encircling the foot. There is a mark in underglaze blue on the base.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1573-1620
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 50 millimetres
    • Width: 296 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 rectangular panel in underglaze blue on the base
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF 748

    Wucai brush (pen) tray


    Potters decorated this tray for brushes in a twice-fired technique called 五彩 (wucai ‘five colours’) composed of underglaze blue and overglaze red, yellow, and green. There are dragons on the long sides, ruyi clouds on the short sides, and a band of key fret encircling the foot. The base carries an underglaze blue Wanli reign mark.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue and overglaze wucai enamels
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Scott & Kerr 1994 p.22, no.22 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.32, no.748 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1978 p.33, no.90, pl.VIII bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.74, no.64 (pen tray) bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006a pp 108-109, no. 45 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case27/sh3

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    22 January 2009

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Fill chip and pint decoration.

    Condition

    The object is stable, it presents a few chipped areas on the rim, one is slightly bigger than the others. The chipped areas are very dirty.

    Treatment details

    All the chipped areas were steam cleaned, the object was let to dry for a week under a cover to prevent dirt and dust contaminating the cleaned areas. Once it was dried, the chipped areas were filled with Fynebond resin which was bulked heavily with Aerosil 805 fumed silica and coloured with artists' dry ground pigments. The resin was applied with a metal spatula, allowed to cure fully for 2 days, then softened with Acetone on a cotton wool swabs and shaved back to the correct size. The resin was allowed to cure for a further 2 days before being polished with Micromesh fine abrasive cloth (silicon carbide/aluminium oxide) grades 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12000. Once the fill was finished, the decoration was in-painted using of acrylic colours mixed with Golden porcelain restoration glaze. The surface of the object was cleaned with distilled water and a few drops of Synperonic X, using cotton wool swabs. Then the surface was rinsed with distilled water on cotton wool and the surface was wiped with a dry Kleenex tissue to remove any remaining distilled water.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: Acquired before 1934.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.748

Rectangular porcelain pen tray with round sides and everted rim. Wucai style with designs of dragons in underglaze blue and overglaze red, yellow and green overglaze enamels. Ruyi clouds on small sides, with a band of key frets encircling the foot. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Rectangular porcelain pen tray with round sides and everted rim. Wucai style with designs of dragons in underglaze blue and overglaze red, yellow and green overglaze enamels. Ruyi clouds on small sides, with a band of key frets encircling the foot. Mark on base in underglaze blue.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39080

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