An incised blue-glazed bowl

Chongzhen-Shunzhi, circa 1635-1650

The bowl is supported on a high straight foot rising to rounded sides spreading towards the rim. The exterior is incised with two four-claw dragons, each chasing a flaming pearl. The bowl is covered inside and out with a deep blue glaze stopping neatly halfway the foot rim. The unglazed lower part of the foot and the recessed base are covered with a dark brown wash. The rim is left unglazed.

21.2 cm diameter



Recovered by Michael Hatcher from the ‘Chinese Junk’ shipwreck, 1983

Christie’s Amsterdam, 7 December 1983, lot 423

Formerly in a Dutch private collection


The present bowl is one of only thirteen blue-glazed bowls of this large size recovered from the ‘Chinese Junk’ shipwreckdiscovered by Hatcher. Given that is has been in the sea for more than three-hundred years, the colour has remained remarkably vibrant. Although these bowls probably were made only for a few years, other examples are known outside the Hatcher wreck, including one of slightly conical form in the Percival David Collection inscribed with an imperial poem. Variations of these bowls include one with a blue and white interior from the Baur Collection, Geneva, and one of shallow form with a white mouth and foot rim, illustrated by Kilburn.



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