Description This bottle shaped vase, categorized as a garlic-headed vase (suantou ping), is painted with outline and wash underglaze cobalt blue on white porcelain. The vase has a low round body, heavily sloped shoulders and tall neck which transitions smoothly into the garlic-shaped bulb. A circular rimmed mouth opens at the top of the bulged neck. It may have been used as a vessel for hot water. Painted on the body, imperial dragons ascend and descend in pursuit of flaming pearls hidden among a thick spray of peony and prunus (cherry or plum) blossoms. Around the shoulder is a string of Ruyi heads, named for their resemblance to the head of the curved ruyi scepter carried by certain Buddhist deities. The neck is painted with a pattern of lotus flowers and leaves. The bulbed mouth is painted with hanging tassels beneath a register of repeated plantain leaves. A narrow band on the neck is inscribed with the six character mark of the reign of Wanli (1573-1619).
- Imperial Chinese Treasures from the Walters Collection. 0.
- Masterpieces of Chinese Porcelain. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980-1981.
Provenance Yamanaka Sale, American Art Association, New York, January 27, 1912, no. 25; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1912; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Reign Mark] In blue underglaze: da ming wan li nian zhi
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912
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