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 and is more highly-fired than many "Swatow" pieces, having a distinct ring to it when tapped. The underglaze blue is of good colour and the design particularly 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 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 yet is in outstanding condition with no repair or restoration; in places are sea grwiths still adhering to the surface but these can usually very easily be removed.
For information: bowls such as this are very rare although we have found a similar, but slightly smaller and inferior example (poorer decoration), illustrated in Rita C. Tan's 2007 book, "Zhangzhou Ware" (this is a highly recommended book that anyone interested in Swatow/Zhnagzhou ceramics really should have: ISBN 978-971-93896-0-6).
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