- Museum number
Porcelain jar with underglaze blue decoration. This oviform jar has four lug handles at the shoulder, a raised neck with rolled rim and a recessed base. It has been over-fired and the resulting glaze is putty-coloured, covered with a web of brown lines. The main decoration consists of two 'finger-painted' cartoon-like dragons chasing each other among clouds. They have open jaws, bulging eyes, spiky sinewy bodies, curling forked tails and bird-like legs. Cobalt blue has been applied to the leather-hard body in broad finger-sized swathes quite unlike the decoration on any other piece in the collection.
- Production date
- 1573-1620 (circa)
Diameter: 13.50 centimetres (Base)
Height: 29 centimetres
Width: 25 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Harrison-Hall 2001:
Acquired in Brunei, Borneo, Indonesia, in the 1880s by Colonel Sir William Everett KCMG, this jar is a type of common low-quality blue-and-white vessel which was exported to South-east Asia and the Middle East in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Several identical jars survive, including another from the Ardebil shrine which is in the Iran Bastan Museum in Teheran. Two jars of this type, one larger and one smaller, both collected in Indonesia, are now in the Princessehof Museum, Leeuwarden. Further examples are in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa. Similar jars were also decorated with a band of peonies below the dragon.
An example of this type collected in Indonesia is in the Philbrook Art Center, Oklahoma. It has been suggested that this style of decoration indicates a Vietnamese rather than a Chinese origin. However, the body is very compact and hard when compared to most Vietnamese ceramics. Some kilns producing blue-and-white wares are located in the far north of Vietnam, while some Chinese kilns firing underglaze blue wares were situated quite nearby in the far south of China. Certainly both glaze and body are quite different from those of blue-and-white wares made in Jiangxi or Fujian province, but it is possible this group of 'finger-painted' wares was made at a workshop in Guangdong province.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018, 10 Nov 2017 - 18 Feb 2018, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, India, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2018, 6 May- 30 June, National Museum, New Delhi, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: AF.12.87