Ming Dynasty, 1500s
This small bottle, probably used to hold aromatic oils, rises from an unglazed foot to a swelling shoulder, then tapers inward to a narrow neck with a slightly everted mouth. It is decorated in underglaze cobalt blue with a stylized, almost abstract landscape on one side; the other side has a few brief calligraphic strokes, one of which is perhaps a bat. The base and foot are unglazed, exposing the white porcelain paste which is now somewhat soiled from age and use. Bottles such as this one are found distributed throughout SE Asia as a result of the China trade. This one was said to have been found in the southern Philippines near Mindanao. Very good condition with no damages or restorations. There are a few characteristic pin pricks in the glaze.
Height: 3 ½ in.; Diameter: 3 ¼ in.