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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Porcelain saucer dish. Moulded decoration on inside of two dragons round the sides and three incised clouds at the centre. Covered inside and outside with slightly crackled copper-red glaze fading to white at rim. Plain glaze on base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 36 millimetres
    • Diameter: 171 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming early 15th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF C503

    Dish with copper-red glaze

    ‘Sacrificial’, fresh or deep red monochrome-glazed porcelain of the Yongle and Xuande era represents the peak of technical achievement at Jingdezhen. As vessels ordered for ritual use by the early fifteenth century Ming emperors, they enjoy a status above that of other porcelains. The glaze has ‘crept’ at the rim of the dish to reveal the pure whiteness of the porcelain body. The glassy glaze is covered in tiny pin prick holes like skin pores and the colour possesses an incredible powdery depth, yielding layer upon layer of strong red shades of colour. In the cavetto is a design of dragons chasing flaming pearls.

    Porcelain with moulded and incised designs, transparent and copper-red glazes
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, AD1403–24


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1973 p.60, no.C503 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989 pp 60-61, no.C503 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    13 February 2009

    Treatment proposal

    Fill chip and clean


    The object presents a chip beside the rim on the external side. It also presnets some stained running cracks from rim.

    Treatment details

    The chip and the running cracks were steam cleaned with de-ionised water. Applied 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. The Laponite removed some staining, but not all. Applied Ariel automatic (anionic and non ionic synthetic surfactants, sodium tripolyphosphate) dissolved in warm water and applied onto cotton wool swabs on the crack. Covered with cling film, removed after a day and steam cleaned the crack.

    The dish was let to dry for a week under a cover to prevent dirt and dust. The chip was then 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, and allowed to cure for 2 days before cutting it back and polished it with Micromesh fine abrasive cloth (silicon carbide/aluminium oxide) grades 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12000.

    The 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.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: 1952. Elphinstone Gift

  • Department


  • Registration number


Porcelain saucer dish. Moulded decoration on inside of two dragons round the sides and three incised clouds at the centre. Covered inside and outside with slightly crackled copper-red glaze fading to white at rim. Plain glaze on base.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39982

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