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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
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Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
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Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
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Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
China, Jiangxi Province; Ming period (1368-1644), mid- to late 15th century (probably Chenghua era, 1465 - 1487)
Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); D. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The five-clawed dragon writhing against a sea of storming waves on the interior of this Chenghua-period (1465 - 1487) porcelain dish painted in underglaze cobalt blue has the same powerful, long, thin body and strong face and jaws that characterize earlier Xuande-era interpretations of this mythical creature. Five similar dragons decorate the exterior rim. Although it lacks a reign mark, the theme and the fineness of the porcelain body and the delicacy and control of the painting indicate that this dish was intended for imperial use. Moreover, the same design of five-clawed dragons against waves is found on pieces bearing the six-character Chenghua mark.
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