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16. A BLUE AND WHITE CIRCULAR ‘SHELL AND WAVE’ DISH, MING DYNASTY, TIANQI PERIOD (1621-1627)

明天啟 青花海螺波紋盤

The rounded sides rising from a short straight foot, to an everted rim, painted to the interior with breaking waves below a full moon, depicted in the fukizumi ink blown technique, Japanese wood box

Diameter: 17.5cm  

Provenance: Purchased in Tokyo, 2013; Mujintang Collection.

The glaze of the dish has a real tactile quality when held in the hand and is slightly heavier potted than would would expect. The moon has been formed by laying down a rounded disc and the decorator blowing cobalt through a tube around it, which cleverly gives the suggestion of clouds around it. For a design of the waves and the moon, see Ink Garden of the Cheng Family, published 1595, p. 26, illustrated below.

 

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