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ewer

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.696

  • Description

    Porcelain ewer of yuhuchun form, with high strap handle and long spout attached by a cloud-shaped strut to the neck. Underglaze red with scrolling flowers around body. Bands of squared spirals, overlapping leaves and classic scrolls on neck.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1368-1398
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 325 millimetres
    • Width: 252 millimetres
    • Depth: 205 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming 14th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A696

    Ewer with stylised lotus scroll


    Copper oxide pigment, used to create underglaze red designs, is extremely difficult to fire successfully at the high temperatures required for porcelain production. The pigment is more volatile and harder to fire effectively than cobalt oxide, which was used to create blue designs. If the process was successful, as here, copper oxide could fire bright red but if not, it fired pale liverish red, grey or almost black. Potters made far greater quantities of monochrome red and underglaze red wares in the Hongwu period (AD 1368–98) than in the Yuan dynasty (AD 1279–1368). Whereas in the Yuan dynasty they were experimental wares, in the early Ming dynasty they were produced on a larger scale but were still rare. Originally this ewer would have had a domed porcelain cover with a lotus bud finial and a loop to marry up with the ring on top of the handle. Details such as the fine raised vertical rib down the handle and the three studs at its base refer to the metalwork version of which the porcelain is a copy. Archaeologists excavated similar ewers with underglaze cobalt blue decoration at Dongmentou東門頭, Zhushan 珠山 in Jingdezhen in 1994.


    Porcelain with underglaze copper-red decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Hongwu period, AD 1368–98

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 72 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.52, no.A696, pl.IX bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989A p.58, no.29 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.62, no.45 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989b p.71, no.59 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.74, no.A696, colour p.33 bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 pp 54-55, no.25 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case55

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.696


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Object reference number: RRC39604

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