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Made by: Unknown

On view in: Dining Room

About this object

This type of vase is known as a meiping: its curvaceous sides rise from a splayed foot ring to broad shoulders surmounted by a short, narrow, thickly rolled lip. The form derives from earlier oil bottles and evolved into a vase intended to hold a single branch of prunus blossoms. The heavily potted exterior is boldly carved with two large leaping five-clawed dragons, or lung, around the shoulders above two smaller ones encircling the base above the foot ring. All of the dragons are reserved in white against an underglaze copper red ground. Each dragon is intricately engraved with detailed scaling on its body, a long flowing mane, and tufts of hair issuing from its limbs. The eyes of the larger lung are indicated by underglaze cobalt blue. Reserved white designs surround the lung indicate crashing waves with foamy crests in a darkly fired copper-red speckled with olive-green spots. A six-character underglaze blue imperial mark of Xuande (1426-35 C.E.) from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 C.E.) is within a double circle under the foot, but it is not of the period. Instead, this vase was produced during reign the Yongzheng emperor (1723-35) in veneration of early Xuande imperial porcelains..

Object name:
Made from:
Carved porcelain with underglaze copper red and blue
Made in:
Jingdezhen, China
Date made:
33 cm (13 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK Six-character imperial reign mark of the Xuande emperor (1426-35) within double circle in underglaze blue. Foot The mark may be from the Ming dynasty, but the vase was produced during the reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1723-35).
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973