Late Yuan dynasty, mid 1300s
This small but well-proportioned guan-form jar with broad shoulder tapering to a narrow base is stoutly potted as were many such late Yuan porcelains intended for export to Southeast Asia and the Philippines. This piece is decorated in the classic Yuan format of horizontal registers of primary and secondary designs; the largest register having the chrysanthemum scroll painting with the upper register around the neck displaying the often-seen classic scroll and the base with a band of downward pointing petals. The cobalt is of a grayish-blue tone suggesting that of a native Chinese source perhaps mixed with Persian cobalt. The painting, though rapid, is that of a practiced hand, and the blue has a heaped and piled effect with blackish speckles in the cobalt blue—all characteristics of blue and white porcelains of this period. The clear glaze is fairly even and lustrous with a bluish tinge. The base and footring are unglazed and three finger marks remain on the exterior base where the piece was held for dipping in the glaze. The footring is flat and beveled on the outer edge where the excess glaze was trimmed off before firing. The interior is unglazed. There are a few iron specks and pin pricks and pinholes resulting from the firing. There is a small firing flaw about 1/8 in. in diameter where a bubble in the clay erupted in the firing process. The overall condition is good. The imperfections are all characteristics of early blue and white wares of the Yuan dynasty.
Height: 3 ½ in.; Diameter: 4 in.