Collection online

bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1949,1116.6

  • Description

    Porcelain bowl with underglaze blue decoration. This bowl has rounded sides, a flared rim and a tapering foot. Like BM 1940.1214.262 it is decorated inside beneath the glaze in blue with a 'fu' character, meaning happiness. Outside it is decorated with a band of spirals and vigorous swirls which resemble brocade balls and silk knots. The quality of potting and decoration suggest that the bowl is a product of the 'min yao' rather than 'guan yao' kilns. The greyish-blue glaze is ill-fitting and the unglazed base has fired pinkish-beige. Where the rim is ground down a dark red-brown body is revealed contrasting starkly with the pure white porcelain clays used contemporaneously at the imperial factory.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1436-1464
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 15 centimetres
    • Height: 7 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        interior
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Transliteration

        fu
      • Inscription Translation

        happiness
  • Curator's comments

    Harrison-Hall 2001:
    Chinese archaeologists have excavated bowls of this type at the Jiang family Ming kiln at Yaoli, Jingdezhen, so it is possible to be confident as to their provenance. However, the dating of such 'min yao' wares is less straightforward and rather controversial. Designs may have been used for many years and, compared to research on Ming imperial porcelains, little material is published on these lower-quality wares. The author suggests that this bowl is a typical mid fifteenth century product as it is decorated in a swift 'calligraphic' style. Liu Xinyuan also dates this type of bowl to the Zhengtong to Tianshun era, as does Ouyang Shibin. Other scholars, notably those at the Nanjing Museum, prefer an earlier Hongwu attribution based on a shard from a similarly decorated bowl unearthed on the site of the Ming palace at Nanjing built by the Hongwu emperor and used until the early Yongle period.

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  • Bibliography

    • Harrison-Hall 2001 5:18 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1949

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1949,1116.6

Porcelain bowl with underglaze blue decoration.  The character 'fu' (happiness) is painted on the inside.  The outside is decorated with a band of spirals and vigorous swirls which resemble brocade balls and silk knots.

Porcelain bowl with underglaze blue decoration. The character 'fu' (happiness) is painted on the inside. The outside is decorated with a band of spirals and vigorous swirls which resemble brocade balls and silk knots.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC13133

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