Very Rare Large Chinese Yuan / Early Ming Dynasty Blue & White Granary Jar with Cover
This extremely rare large jar, complete with cover, was made during the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368), or possibly the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Although we have seen several jars of a generally similar form attributed to the Song & Yuan dynasties, we have never before seen a jar of this form with underglaze cobalt blue decoration, a product of one of the kilns at Yuxi in Yunnan province. This general type of jar is usually described as a granary, used for the storage of grain. It is "heavily-potted" and has a band of "pie crust" decoration around the shoulder; there is similar decoration also to its cover. The underglaze decoration comprises broad bands of scrolling floral and geometric patterns within lines that surround both jar and cover. The glaze has been applied to the main body but purposely not to the shoulder or lower body where the cobalt blue decoration has fired black. Around the shoulder are some firing bubbles. It has a flat wire-cut base where, in its centre, is a small purpose-made hole. The glaze is generally very thinly applied and in places to the body only traces remain.
Early underglazed vessels 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 underglazed vessels also extended into the early Ming Dynasty although we have been unable to find any reference to underglazed jars of this particular form.
This is a large jar with a height of 37.5 cm (14.75 inches). It is in very good condition; there are minor chips to the vulnerable pie-crust decoration but there is no obvious sign of any restoration or repair. It is available for inspection at our Brighton gallery.
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