Porcelain stem cup. Underglaze blue with various animals and flying beasts on dense pencilled wave background covering both porcelain cup and stem. Inscription in central roundel inside. Base unglazed.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 87 millimetres
- Diameter: 100 millimetres
Inscription Typereign mark
Inscription Positionon base
Inscription TransliterationDa ming xuande nian zhi
Inscription TranslationMade during the Xuande reign of the Great Ming dynasty
Published PDF date : Ming late 16th centuryRoom 95 label text:
Blue-and-white stem cup with mythical sea creatures
This blue-and-white stem cup has an apocryphal six-character underglaze blue Xuande reign mark inside in the centre. The style of decoration outside is also in fifteenth century style. Descriptions of mythical sea creatures may be found in Shan Hai Jing [Classic of the Seas and Mountains], a book completed in the Han dynasty by Liu Xiang and his son, and revised and illustrated by Guo Pu in the Eastern Jin dynasty. This book records investigations by state officials on topics from astronomy to medicine, science to flora and fauna, medicine to archaeology. It regained popularity in the fifteenth century. A relationship between the sea-animal motifs and Tibetan Buddhism seems to have existed. It is probable that this stem cup was used at a Buddhist ceremony. Xuande period porcelains of this type are usually decorated with all nine sea creatures together, although the order of the animals varies and the spaces in between can be filled with crested waves, rocky cliffs and clouds. Later copies such as this have a selection of the creatures.
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
Ming dynasty, Wanli period, AD 1573–1620
Stem porcelain cup. Underglaze blue with various animals and flying beasts on dense pencilled wave background covering both porcelain cup and stem. Inscription in central roundel inside. Base unglazed.
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Object reference number: RRC40002
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