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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
Stem Cup
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), Xuande era, 1426 - 1435
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
While objects decorated with five-clawed dragons were reserved for the use of the imperial family during the Ming dynasty, those with four claws, such as the powerful and assured dragon painted in underglaze blue on this small stem cup, were used by nobility of lower rank. The cup, made of a refined porcelain clay, is neither very thick nor extremely thin. The black spots in the cobalt and pale sea-green tinge in the otherwise transparent glaze are typical of Chinese blue-and-white wares of the Yongle, Xuande, and Chenghua eras. A six-character Xuande reign mark is written in the bottom of the interior of this cup.
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