Description This bell-shaped cup has a delicate body of white eggshell porcelain. Cobalt-blue underglaze paint forms a band of interlinking trefoil foliated designs that rest on the cup's external foot. The interior is decorated with a five clawed dragon incised subtly in the paste of the porcelain; the fantastical creature mingles with wispy flames and clouds as it pursues precious jewels. These two decorative elements, - the painting outside and the incised designs of the inside, accentuate the thinness of the porcelain. If the cup were to be held up to the light the blue painting would be made visible on the inside while light passing through the thin porcelain of the incised dragons would reveal them on the opposite side, thus integrating the external and internal designs. The year 1683 during the Kangxi reign (1662-1722) marks the return of the Imperial production of porcelain and the reinstitution of the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. A revival of imperial blue and white porcelain resulted in superbly crafted porcelains with well combined body, glaze, cobalt pigment, and skillful decoration.
- Imagining China: The View from England, 1550-1700. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington. 2009-2010.
Provenance William T. or Henry Walters Collection, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions reign mark of the Kangxi emperor In blue underglaze: da qing kang xi nian zhi
Credit Bequest of Henry Walters, 1931
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