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Vase with chi dragon and peony scroll design in underglaze blue

AnonymousDated fifth year of Tianshun period (1461), Ming dynasty

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art
Hong Kong , Hong Kong

This underglaze blue vase has a long neck, bulging body and a flat base while its footring is noticeably missing. The decoration is divided into three sections by underglaze blue horizontal lines. The first section consists of a chi dragon applied in relief and coiled round the neck on a ground of auspicious emblems on ribbon. The chi dragon is in cobalt blue, contrasting strongly with the white background. Near the shoulder, you can see rocks and grass. The section below consists of continuous peony scrolls around the belly. The third section, on the underside of the belly, consists of a long inscription in band form bearing the date of the fifth year of Tianshun (1461) of the Ming dynasty. The flat base is glazed and the vase is heavily potted.The twenty-nine years making up the combined reigns of Zhengtong (1436 - 1449), Jingtai (1450 - 1456) and Tianshun (1457 - 1464) is long considered the interregnum in the history of Chinese ceramics. Production of the imperial kiln in Jingdezhen was interrupted due to social unrest and economic problems. Although there was still production in the folk kilns, dated works of these three reigns are extremely rare. For these reasons, this particular vase is a valuable item for scholarly purposes.

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