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Updated: 14 April 2015
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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.
- Made in: Jingdezhen
- (Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),Jingdezhen)
- Height: 478 millimetres
- Width: 350 millimetres
- Depth: 225 millimetres
- Weight: 7.2 kilograms
Published PDF date : Ming early 15th centuryRoom 95 label text:
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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Object reference number: RRC39932
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