BW-06022     Pear-shape octagonal bottle with underglaze-blue

                            illustration of General Meng-tian

Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), Hu-tian Kiln, unmarked.
Height: 49cm, Mouth diameter: 13.4cm, Foot diameter: 14.4cm, Interior foot diameter: 1.7cm  Weight:5230g
This ware has been cleansed with Oxalic Acid to remove dirt and viscidities to restore its original luster for collection and preservation.


Flared mouth, thin neck, round belly, and foot ring make up a smooth and curvaceous octagonal contour. 

This bottle is jointed at two sites.  Gourd-leaf decoration encircles the interior mouth rim. The body is decorated with Chinese historical figures from Qin Dynasty (221-206 b.c.) and complemented by stones and plants. Leaf scrolls circuit around the foot ring.


The imported pigment brought out dense color with black. Black spots appear at thickly glazed area. 

The translucent glaze is white with blue tone and the surface is firm and smooth with orange-peel effect.

The illustration on the ware body depicts a historical moment when General Meng-tian is interrogating a war prisoner. 

Five people are included in this illustration:  

A person sitting on a chair with august face and full panoply is the General Meng-tian. The standing soldier behind General Megn-tian is holding a flag showing four vertical words ‘Meng Tian Jiang Jun’ (which means General Meng-tian).   

Other three people are in front of General Meng-tian. First one is a warrior holding a sword with left hand and is gesturing with right hand to a soldier and a war prisoner. The solider wearing a conical hat and short coat with girdle is facing to the warrior and reporting with war prisoner. The war prisoner wearing tall cap and colorful robe is kneeling and also facing to the warrior. 

The explication of wardrobe and accessories:

There are two kinds of armors for Qin army. For a commander was made of leather or other materials, and then inlaid with metallic or leather plates. For ordinary soldier was weaved by orthogonal plates and the armor should be worn from head and fastened by a clasp.  

All clothing and accessories are based on costumes worn on stage during Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).

The costume bares little or no resemblance to accurate dressing of Qin army.

The foot bottom is unglazed and appears blackish brown spots. Scraping mark and its ending point are visible on the bottom.


Binary formula was used in Yuan dynasty to mix Ma-chang clay with porcelain stone. The grayish white clay has dry and loose structure, obvious air holes, and black impurity spots.

(P.S. Kaolin clay is also called Ma-Cang clay or imperial clay.)

Imported pigment produced dense and gorgeous color after firing.  The tone is indigo-blue with shades of various levels. Various sizes of iron brown and greenish brown iron rust spots appear under magnification with shining metallic silver color. Slightly uneven sensation felt by hand.