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flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,B.667

  • Description

    Large porcelain flask of bian hu form. Underglaze blue with large three-clawed dragon among scrolling lotus. Similar scrolling lotus on neck and squared spirals at the rim.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1403-1424
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 478 millimetres
    • Width: 350 millimetres
    • Depth: 225 millimetres
    • Weight: 7.2 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

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

    PDF B667

    Blue-and-white flask with dragons


    Both the Yongle (AD1403—24) and Xuande (AD1426—35) emperors sponsored important maritime trade and diplomatic missions to the Middle East. The form of this flask was not originally Chinese but was inspired by a Middle Eastern shape, possibly an enamelled glass vessel. During both the Yongle and Xuande emperors’ reigns, flasks in this large, heavy, bulbous form with variations to the decoration were made at the imperial kilns at Zhushan珠山 in Jingdezhen. The imperial household probably used such flasks as wine decanters but also traded them as evidenced by similar flasks in the Topkapi Saray in Turkey and the Ardabil Shrine in Iran.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, AD 1403–24

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  • Bibliography

    • Pierson 2001 p. 69, no. 65 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.66, no.B667, pl.XIV bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.92, no.B667 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004A pp 40-41, no.12 (Front Cover illustration) bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 pp 62-63, no.29 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc58

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,B.667

PDF,B.667 (Left) with PDF.662 (Right).

PDF,B.667 (Left) with PDF.662 (Right).

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39932

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