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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Made in China:
an imperial Ming vase

Currently at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
11 October 2014 – 4 January 2015

Future venue

The Willis Museum, Hampshire County Council Arts and Museums Service
10 January – 4 April 2015

Supported by BP

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An empire the size of Europe. An economy at the heart of global trade. A distinctive artistic style. Discover how and why this iconic blue-and-white porcelain vase represents a crucial period in China’s history.

In the early 15th century, China was the size of Europe, with a population approximately twice the size. A global superpower run by one family, the Ming dynasty’s imperial courts led taste in arts and culture, and saw the creation and consolidation of many of the cultural, social and political themes that shaped the development of China.

Imperial blue-and-white porcelain reflected a courtly interest in other cultures and connections to an international network, which stretched across Asia to Africa, the Middle East and later Europe. Porcelain was produced primarily for everyday use, trade and diplomacy, and its manufacture at this time was strictly controlled to meet the highest standards.

Ming porcelain has long been prized by collectors in Britain and around the world. At just over 50cm tall, this stunning blue-and-white vase with lotus decoration is the largest Ming imperial porcelain of its kind in the British Museum collection.

The vase will tour to four venues across the UK, each of which will highlight connections with their own collections through a specially commissioned contemporary artistic response.

Related blog posts

The making and meaning of Ming: 50 years that changed China 

Made in China: an imperial Ming vase 


Recommend this exhibition

Ming flask

Large porcelain flask painted with underglaze blue decoration. Made in Jingdezhen, China. Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, 1426–1435. © The Trustees of the British Museum.