Large Chinese Yuan / Early Ming Dynasty Blue & White Jar with Cover
This rare large jar was made during the latter part of the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368), or possibly the early Ming Dynasty. This type of ware is classed as "blue & white" and was made at one of the kilns at Yuxi in Yunnan province, one of the first places in China where underglazed blue & white ware was produced. It is decorated with a Buddhist theme. Around the shoulder, painted in underglaze cobalt blue, are three stylised Dogs of Fo. Below are floral, leaf and scrolling patterns. The inner surface is unglazed except for the mouth. The unglazed base is slightly concave. Looking inside the jar shows a firing crack to the inner wall, although this has not penetrated the body.
The dome-shaped cover is also decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a lotus leaf and petal pattern. There is a ring of firing "spur" marks to the glaze showing that something else was placed on top of this cover during firing.
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 ware did indeed extend into the Ming Dynasty.
Height 39 cm (15 inches). Although the cover is quite "heavily-potted" , it is particularly thin around the edge where there are small "nibbles" that clearly occurred during manufacture as these uneven edges are covered in glaze. However, this vulnerable edge has been damaged and there are a couple of small areas of repair. It must be appreciated, however, that very few of this type of jar actually survive with a cover. There are a few very small scratches to the glaze around the shoulder of the jar. There is no repair or restoration to the actual jar.
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