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Small Jar

Chinese

Artwork Details

Small Jar
15th-16th century
Chinese
porcelain with underglaze and glaze
2 3/8 in x 2 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in (6.03 cm x 5.72 cm x 5.72 cm)
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund
1993/2.27

On Display

Not currently on display

Description

Subject Matter:

A qinghua (清华) blue and white jar (guan 罐) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The discovery of kaolin clay at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, led to the establishment of official kilns during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), and the production of pure, white, hard paste porcelain and porcelain decorated with underglaze blue.  During the 13th century of the Yuan dynasty, with the establishment of Pax Mongolia, blue and white porcelains were exported to Europe and the Middle East, as both tribute gifts as well as for the overseas export market.  This continued through the Ming dynasty, where porcelain was used domestically by all classes of society.  A vast array of forms and designs were made to appeal to a large and diverse overseas as well as domestic market.

One of the most popular forms of decoration was underglaze cobalt blue.  During the Yuan dynasty, the principal source of cobalt came from Persia.  In the Ming, however, local sources were found. The domestic cobalt, high in manganese and iron, resulted in a deep blue color with dark specks that has become known as a “heap and piled” effect, a hallmark of Ming qinghua (blue and white) wares, that was imitated in the later Qing dynasty.

Physical Description:

A small jar with a slightly tapered base and a shoulder that tapers to a narrow tall neck with a direct rim.  It is painted with underglaze cobalt blue with deer and floral designs, and covered in a clear glaze. 

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