Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Moulded Dehua Qingbai Porcelain Box - Phoenix
This covered box was made during the 13th - 14th century, most likely at the Dehua kilns in Fujian province. Both upper and lower parts are decorated with moulded patterns, the centre of the cover featuring two phoenixes within in two rings. Surrounding the phoenixes, and to the lower section, are scrolling patterns. The inner and outer surfaces are coated in a pale blue qingbai glaze. The slightly concave base remains unglazed.
Diameter 12.5 cm. This is a very nice example and, although there is no repair or restoration, there are minor chips to the "sharp" edge of the lower section. Apparently in ancient times in China it was the practice to break off small pieces from the edges of jarlets, ground down the pieces and ingest them in the belief the powder acted as medicine. As some of the tiny chips are in a line and fairly uniform, we wonder if that was done with this box. Of course this is pure speculation !
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