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bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.778

  • Description

    Porcelain bowl. Decorated with underglaze blue and overglaze iron red enamel. Two five-clawed dragons in red enamel around sides, among blue clouds. Band of turbulent blue waves around base. There is a mark on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 75 millimetres
    • Diameter: 173 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Comment

        Six characters Xuande mark in underglaze blue in a double circle in the centre inside the bowl
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming XuandeRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A778

    Box-bowl with iron-red dragons


    The shape of this bowl with its angular profile was invented in the Xuande era and is called a 盒碗 (hewan ‘box bowl’). Porcelain decorators painted it with a dragon on both sides chasing a flaming pearl among clouds using overglaze iron-red. Potters in the early fifteenth century very rarely used iron-red which required a second firing. Originally the bowl would have had a matching shallow slightly domed cover and looked like a box. The bowl is marked inside with a six-character Xuande reign mark in a double ring.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue with overglaze iron-red
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD1426–35

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1978 p.13, no.1 bibliographic details
    • Feng 2006 p.71, no.A778, colour p.63 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 pp 64-65, no.30 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case59-3

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    22 January 2009

    Treatment proposal

    Try to clean cracks

    Condition

    Light surface dirt. Three running cracks from rim and one large crack visible inside of the bowl on the base. Five running cracks on base rim. All cracks are stained. The stained cracks on the base have spread slightly into the main body of the ceramic, possibly from moisture or perhaps from previous cleaning methods. The enamelled decoration is slightly scratched.

    Treatment details

    Steam cleaned running cracks with de-ionised water. Applied Ariel automatic (anionic and non ionic synthetic surfactants, sodium tripolyphosphate) dissolved in warm water and applied onto cotton wool swabs on all the cracks. Covered with cling film, removed after a day and steam cleaned the cracks. Applied Ariel several times, setam cleaning between each application before Applying Laponite RD (sodium magnesium lithium silicate) onto wet Japanese tissue paper over the stained running crack and covered with cling film to slow down the evaporation rate. Removed before fully drying and steam cleaned the crack. Applied Laponite twice, steam cleaning in between each application. Most of the staining along the cracks was removed. Object was further cleaned with a 50:50 solution of de-ionised water and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) applied on a cotton wool swab and dried with a paper towel. Numbered the base with Rotring black Indian ink sealing surface first with 20% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone).

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.778

Porcelain bowl. Decorated with underglaze blue and overglaze iron red enamel. Two five-clawed dragons in red enamel around sides, among blue clouds. Band of turbulent blue waves around base. Mark on base.

Porcelain bowl. Decorated with underglaze blue and overglaze iron red enamel. Two five-clawed dragons in red enamel around sides, among blue clouds. Band of turbulent blue waves around base. Mark on base.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39691

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