Fine Large Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Swatow Porcelain Bowl - Wanli Reign
This very attractive blue & white bowl was made during the Wanli Reign (1573 - 1620) of the Ming Dynasty. This type of "Swatow" (also known as "Zhangzhou") ware is typically fairly "heavily-potted". It is coated in a thick glaze that is finely-crackled. The underglaze blue is of particularly good colour and the design very elaborate. The centre roundel contains highly decorated gourds and tassels. Surrounding this on the inner wall of the bowl are four panels containing, alternately, flower blossoms and more tasseled objects, then a wide floral border surrounding the rim. The underside decoration features two birds in branches around the wide rim, and four main panels containing peaches around which are scrolls and geometric patterns.
This bowl is of a good size with a diameter of 22 cm (8.5 inches). This bowl has been recovered from a shipwreck and has survived remarkably well, being in fine condition with no repair or restoration.
For information: bowls such as this are very rare although we have found a similar, but slightly smaller and inferior example (poorer colour and decoration), illustrated in Rita C. Tan's 2007 book, "Zhangzhou Ware" (this is a highly recommended book that anyone interested in Swatow/Zhangzhou ceramics really should have: ISBN 978-971-93896-0-6).
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