FLASK

Blue-and-white porcelain with dragon and wave design
Accession No.00574
CollectionThe ATAKA Collection
KilnJingdezhen ware
Date 1Ming dynasty
Date 2Yongle period (1403-1424)
PhotographPhotographs: MUDA Tomohiro
DescriptionDuring the Yongle period, as the trade activities with the west resumed, forms of ceramics began to show some transition which seems to be a result of influence from the Islamic region. Since importation of fine quality cobalt blue pigment from West Asia also resumed, the cobalt blue decoration on the blue-and-white wares became clearer and brighter. This piece is also one of the wares in a new form appeared during this period. A large dragon is depicted in the center, reserved in white against the background with a pattern of rolling waves. The details of the body are incised except for the eyes, which were dotted in cobalt blue, and it seems as if the final touch of the eyes has brought the imposing dragon to life. A similar piece accompanying a sixteenth-century silver lid is housed in the Topkapi Palace and another similar example has been found in Zhushan, Jingdezhen City.

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