A massive, heavily potted, Ming dynasty Cizhou stoneware wine jar freely decorated with flowers and plants in brown on a thick cream ground. For a very similarly decorated jar (possibly painted by the same hand) please see the example illustrated - Fig 1, p431 "Ming Ceramics in the British Museum" (ISBN 0 7141 1488 X). During the 15th and 16th centuries Cizhou-type jars, for use as wine containers, were ordered regularly by the Ming Court. There are two four character inscriptions on each side of the jar. One reads "Bai Yu Wu Xia" which translates. "White Jade is Spotless"; the other reads "Wei Shan Zui Le" which can translate "Kindness is the Most Happiness". Condition very good. 64cm (25.3inches) High.