UGR-06003, 06004     Pair bottles with underglaze blue and red

                                    decoration of dragon

Xuan-de reign of Ming dynasty (1426-1435), Imperial kiln of Long-zhu-ge in Jingdezhen, unmarked,

Height:44/44.1cm, mouth diameter:8.6/8.7cm, foot diameter:13.3/13.3cm, interior foot diameter: 0.3/0.3cm, weight:4,550/4,945 g.

This ware has been cleansed with Oxalic Acid to remove dirt and viscidities to restore its original luster for collection and preservation.

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The thick and heavy clay body consists of lip-shape mouth and slightly wide shoulder. Underglaze blue decoration of lotus petals was painted on shoulder and foot. The body part was beautified with underglaze red design of dragon in pursuit of pearls and underglaze blue design of lotus scrolls. 

Underglaze blue and red adopts two kinds of different pigment ingredients, which were applied on porcelain decoration. Early in Yuan dynasty (129-1368), artisans successfully created perfect firing technique of underglaze blue and red, and produced the innovative porcelains.

Underglaze red applied copper oxide pigment for decoration.  Due to the volatile characteristic of copper, underglaze red required strict control of firing temperature and duration for successful production.

Moreover, underglaze blue used imported pigment, which contains high concentration of iron and low concentration of manganese. Thus, underglaze blue presents dense and gorgeous blue with black spots in thick glazed area.

Refined clay displays pure white color, delicate quality, and smooth touch. 

Excellent scraping crafts shaped sleek and exquisite bottom.

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Imported pigment, Su-ma-li blue, presents dense and splendid blue. It shows sparkling greenish blue and blackish, yellowish, or greenish brown iron rust spots which are embedded into clay through glassy glaze. There is metallic reflection on bumpy surface.

Copper oxide is used for coloration of underglaze red and appears red after reductive firing. Due to the sharp sensitivity, copper often turns to be brown or brownish black. Gaudy and bright underglaze red porcelains in Xuan-de period (1426-1435) were more delicate than in Hong-wu period (1368-1398).

Firm and exquisite clay from imperial kiln during Yong-le (1403-1424) and Xuan-de (1426-1435) reign appears clear white, solidly fine structure, and high hardness.