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stem cup

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Small stem porcelain cup. Underglaze blue with two winged beasts resembling a lion and an elephant in waves. Wide band of waves on stem. Inscription in central roundel inside.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1426-1435
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 90 millimetres
    • Diameter: 103 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

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

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

    PDF B638

    Stem cup with mythical beasts

    Potters painted this porcelain stem cup with underglaze blue scrolling waves and mythical beasts. Inside is a Xuande reign mark in a double ring. Craftsmen at Jingdezhen thoroughly processed the local clay to remove any impurities. This resulted in highly refined clay which was purer, whiter, and finer in the early fifteenth century than in any other period of the Ming dynasty. This pure body is visible on this example in the flat unglazed base, at the rim of the vessel and where the design is just covered with a transparent glaze contrasting with the underglaze blue waves.

    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, AD1426–35


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 96 bibliographic details
    • Medley 1976 p.61, no.B638, pl.XII bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.85, no.B638 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased by Sir Percival David from Bluett & Sons on 27th April 1933. Listed in Bluett & Sons Sales Day Book (SDB) vol. 14, p.206, Lot 146. £25. Purchased at Sotheby's, 25th-26th April 1933 from the Stephen D. Winkworth Collection Sale.

  • Department


  • Registration number


Small stem porcelain cup. Underglaze blue with two winged beasts resembling a lion and an elephant in waves. Wide band of waves on stem. Inscription in central roundel inside.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC39906

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