Large Chinese Yuan / Early Ming Dynasty "Blue & White" Jar with Cover
This large and rare early underglazed jar, complete with cover, was made during the latter part of the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368), or the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), at one of the kilns at Yuxi in Yunnan province. Although classed as "blue & white" ware, the colour of the underglaze cobalt blue does vary in places and the glaze is distinctly greenish in colour. Already a very rare type of jar, the "Three Friends of Winter" pattern around the shoulder makes it even rarer (most known examples of this type are decorated with lion dog, fish or phoenix patterns). The lower body is decorated with scrolling floral and leaf patterns with a band of large lotus leaves toward the base. The cover is decorated with geometric leaf patterns. Interestingly, looking inside the jar shows that it has been made in two sections, upper and lower, that have been luted together, prior to application of the glaze. The unglazed wire-cut base is slightly concave.
Early underglazed jars such as this from the Yuxi kilns are not widely documented and have been unknown in the West until relatively recently. Those few that are documented are generally attributed to the Yuan Dynasty; although research does suggest that production of this type of wear also extended into the early Ming Dynasty.
This is a large example with a height of 40.5 cm (16 inches). Overall condition is very good with just minor imperfections: there is a scratch line the the glaze at the shoulder close to where there is a small filled rim chip. The inner rim of the underside of the cover is a little "nibbled".
This jar is available for inspection at our Brighton gallery.
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