Large Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Swatow Porcelain Bowl - Wanli Reign
This very attractive blue & white bowl was made during the Wanli Reign (1573 - 1620) of the Ming Dynasty. This type of "Swatow" (also known as "Zhangzhou") ware is typically fairly "heavily-potted". It is coated in a thick glaze that is finely-crackled. The underglaze blue is of good colour and the design particularly elaborate. The centre roundel contains highly decorated gourds and tassels. Surrounding this on the inner wall of the bowl are four panels containing, alternately, flower blossoms and more tasselled objects, then a wide floral border surrounding the rim. The underside decoration comprises various geometric patterns.
This bowl was recovered from a shipwreck by Captain Michael Hatcher of "Hatcher Cargo" fame.
It is of a good size with a diameter of 22.75 cm (9 inches). It is in good condition with no repair or restoration.
For information: bowls such as this are very rare although we have found a similar, but slightly smaller and inferior example (poorer decoration), illustrated in Rita C. Tan's 2007 book, "Zhangzhou Ware" (this is a highly recommended book that anyone interested in Swatow/Zhangzhou ceramics really should have: ISBN 978-971-93896-0-6).
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