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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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dish

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.679

  • Description

    Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with two horizontal five-clawed dragons on dense pale blue wave ground with rocks around the exterior. Inside in centre, a five-clawed dragon on similar wave ground. Anhua design around cavetto of two dragons painted in slip. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 40 millimetres
    • Diameter: 178 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        reign mark
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        大明 宣德年製
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da ming Xuande nian zhi
      • Inscription Translation

        Made during the Xuande reign of the Great Ming dynasty.
      • Inscription Comment

        Six-character Xuande mark in a double circle in underglaze blue on the base
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming Xuande 1426-1435Room 95 label text:

    PDF B679

    Dish with dragons on pale blue waves


    This shallow dish is decorated with a fierce dragon with spiky spine, open jaws and flexed claws. His scaly body is depicted in uneven deep blue tones against a light ground of line-drawn pale blue waves with white crests. Outside, two more dragons are depicted in the same way but shown in profile, one pursuing the other who turns his head back. There are four evenly spaced groups of rocks also in deep blue around which the line-drawn pale blue waves crash. In the cavetto are two further暗花 (anhua ‘secret or hidden decoration’) dragons.


    Porcelain with anhua and underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD 1426–35

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 87 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.63, no.47 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.69, no.B679, pl.XIV bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.75, no.64 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.94, no.B679, colour p.37 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case59-3

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.679

Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with two horizontal five-clawed dragons on dense pale blue wave ground with rocks around the outside. Inside in centre, a five-clawed dragon on similar wave ground. Anhua design around cavetto of two dragons painted in slip. Inscription on base.

Porcelain dish. Underglaze blue with two horizontal five-clawed dragons on dense pale blue wave ground with rocks around the outside. Inside in centre, a five-clawed dragon on similar wave ground. Anhua design around cavetto of two dragons painted in slip. Inscription on base.

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Object reference number: RRC39943

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