Large Chinese Yuan / Early Ming Dynasty Blue & White Jar with Cover
This large jar was made during the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368), or possibly the Ming Dynasty. This type of wear is classed as "blue & white" ware 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. 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.
It has a dome-shaped cover with an unusual finial. The flared edge of the cover is upturned in four places spread equally apart. The cover is also decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a mainly floral design surrounded by eight large petals. 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 wear did extend into the Ming Dynasty. For information we show a similar example from a 1985 Japanese publication, dated to the Yuan Dynasty.
Height 38 cm (15 inches). There is what appears to be a hairline crack to the lower body of the jar but it does not extend to the base and the jar does still ring when tapped so it was possibly caused during firing or the cooling process. There is no repair or restoration to the actual jar. However, the cover has been broken in places and re-stuck, but it must be appreciated that it is extremely rare for such a jar to still have its cover.
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