Large Chinese Yuan / Early Ming Dynasty Blue & White Jar with Cover + Oxford TL Test
Rarely offered for sale, this large and impressive early "blue & white" jar, complete with cover, was made during the latter part of the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368), or the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), at one of the kilns at Yuxi in Yunnan province. Around the shoulder, painted in underglaze cobalt blue, are three stylised Dogs of Fo and beribboned objects. The lower body is decorated with scrolling floral and leaf patterns with a band of large lotus leaves toward the base. The cover is decorated with geometric leaf patterns. The thickness of the glaze varies, and this affects the colour of the underglaze in places. The glaze is thickest on the cover, and there is an area of the main body where the glaze is particularly thin, making the underglaze cobalt blue appear almost black. Interestingly, looking inside the jar shows that it has been made in two sections, upper and lower, that have been luted together, prior to application of the glaze. The unglazed wire-cut base is slightly concave.
Early underglazed jars such as this from the Yuxi kilns are not widely documented and have been unknown in the West until relatively recently. Those few that are documented are generally attributed to the Yuan Dynasty; although research does suggest that production of this type of wear also extended into the early Ming Dynasty. For information, at the end of the images of this jar, we also show a similar example from a 1985 Japanese publication, dated to the Yuan Dynasty.
This is a large jar with a height of 40.5 cm (16 inches). It is in fine condition; there is minor surface wear to the glaze, but there is no sign of any restoration or repair (the two holes to the base are from the TL test - these holes could, of course, very easily be filled).
As with many of our finer and rarer items, we have had this jar tested by Oxford Authentications, the only testers of ancient pottery accepted by all major dealers, auction houses and museums worldwide, and the Thermoluminescence Analysis Report that will accompany this item is shown with our images.
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