Large Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Porcelain Bowl - Qilin / Flaming Pearl
This rare blue & white porcelain bowl was made during the mid to late 16th century, c.1550 - 1570. The outer wall is decorated with an unusual pattern that features three qilin flying in the clouds amongst flaming pearls. Around the inner and outer rim are geometric borders. The central design is not so clear, possibly featuring a standing rock. There is minor "fritting" to the glaze at the rim, this caused during manufacture and often seen on such ware of this period.
The qilin is part horse, part dragon and one of the four great mythological animals of China. It represents longevity, grandeur and happiness. The flaming pearl is a symbol of feminine beauty and purity, but is usually seen as a decoration with dragons, which makes the pattern on this bowl even more unusual.
This bowl is of a good size with a diameter of 18 cm (7 inches). The surface of the glaze is slightly stained in places due to long burial. This bowl has a good sonorous ring when tapped and is free from any restoration or repair.
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