A Pair of Tall Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Qingbai Porcelain Dragon Jars
This pair of attractive and impressive porcelain jars was made during the 12th - 14th century. They are quite "heavily-potted" and made in two sections, upper and lower, that have been luted together. Around the band of "piecrust" decoration on each jar stand moulded and applied human figures, twelve on one jar and eleven on the other, clearly originally made with this number. The upper sections have a deeply-incised groove that spirals downwards, on top of which have been applied dragons with individually carved surfaces and each facing opposite directions, as well as additional appliqués in the form of clouds. Each jar has a cone-shaped cover upon the top of which sits a bird, one with its head down, the other with its head up. They have been coated in a finely-crackled Qingbai glaze of good colour, the colour varying from a blueish-green to a more yellowish-green on the covers (which probably would have been made and fired separately).
Impressed onto the head of one dragon is a Chinese character that translates as precious stone, gem, jade, also sometimes as Imperial.
These jars are a true pair, not two similar jars that have been put together.
The height of each jar is approximately 41.5 (16.25 inches). The condition of these jars is exceptional. There are inevitably some losses to the vulnerable tips of the dragons' claws in places and also to the end of one dragon's "beard" that seems to have been lost in antiquity. There is some loss of glaze near the base of one jar where the glaze is particularly thin, also to the base of one cover. The only repair is to the necks of the birds on the covers that have been broken and re-stuck.
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