Dark-blue-glazed Plum Vase with White-dragon Pattern

Yangzhou Museum

Yangzhou Museum
Yangzhou, China

As one of the “greatest treasures” of Yangzhou Museum, this plum vase, or meiping, named after its function to keep plum branches, has an elegant shape, a vivid and exquisite decorative pattern, and an eye-catching pure dark-blue glaze. With a narrow mouth and a short neck, the vase enlarges from the neck downwards in a gradual way, then tapers at the lower half, and finally widens a little bit to form a stable base. Around the belly area of the vase there is a pattern known as “dragon chasing fireball”, with a raised head, two horns stretching backwards, and sharp, piercing eyes highlighted by the blue-glaze-dot pupils against the while-glazed body. The long-necked dragon opens its mouth, showing its sharp buckteeth, and stretching its four claws with pointed nails. Around the dragon are four flame-shaped clouds, each decorated with a small pearl at the bottom. These clouds look just like floating coral trees, serving as a foil to the magnificent dragon flying in the sky, with a bundle of mane hair flowing backwards along its flight. The pure dark-blue glaze of this vase, as a result of high-temperature baking, which added to the categories of porcelain glaze, laid the foundation for the later great development of porcelain-making techniques in Jingdezhen during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1912 AD).


  • Title: Dark-blue-glazed Plum Vase with White-dragon Pattern
  • Provenance: Yangzhou Museum
  • Physical Size: Height: 43.5 cm, opening diameter: 5.5 cm, maximum belly diameter: 25.3 cm, base diameter: 14 cm
  • Dynasty: Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368)

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