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Updated: 27 April 2015
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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.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 325 millimetres
- Width: 252 millimetres
- Depth: 205 millimetres
Published PDF date : Ming 14th centuryRoom 95 label text:
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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Object reference number: RRC39604
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