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16th c Carved Longquan Charger (MLQ091715)
c. 1550 - 1600, later half of the 16th century
Porcelain with lime-alkali glaze; Longquan celadon ware
Diameter: 34.5 cm
Height: 7 cm
From an Ambler, Pennsylvania collection
A 16th century Ming Longquan celadon charger plate, heavily potted and covered with a crackled translucent pea-green glaze with a subtle bluish undertone. The porcelain body underneath has been hand-carved with peony flowers in the central well and plaintain leaves in the surrounding cavetto.
Beginning in the late 15th century, Longquan celadon glazes adopted a clear and crackled appearance. This was in part brought about by changing resources and production formulas at the Longquan kilns in Zhejiang province. As celadon glazes took on an increasingly pellucid sheen, old decorating methods resurfaced. For centuries prior to the Song dynasty, potters at Yue and Yaozhou kilns hallowed out designs from biscuit clay using sharp blades, and then fired the pieces with a greenish clear glaze. But Longquan potters of the Song-Yuan dynasties had to abandon this craft in favor of mold and applique methods, for early Longquan glazes were so opaque thatany carved decorations would be buried and invisible underneath the glaze. The later development of a relatively clear glaze at Longquan ensured one last revival (the method would virtually disappear in the Qing dynasty) of the ancient carved-decoration method. The resultant pieces combine the sharp liveliness of Yue/Yaozhou wares with the monumental scale of Longquan celadons.
Condition: There is a 1.2 mm glaze imperfection (original kiln flaw due to grit or foreign objects sticking to the glaze during firing). There are further tiny spots of glaze imperfect or kiln grit scattered here or there (see pictures). The underside of the rim has a very tiny glaze frit. Overall this charger plate is in excellent antique condition. [Please examine all photos carefully, as they are part of the condition report. Any material condition clearly visible in photographs is considered to have been disclosed and described.]