BLUE AND WHITE VASE
Large baluster shaped porcelain jar with a swollen body and covered with a transparent glaze. Cobalt blue motifs are placed on a white background. The motifs include chrysanthemums and butterflies in the middle of bamboos drawn inside cartridges with dense blue geometric patterns. The shoulder is decorated with a wan pattern and has four lions in relief near the collar.
The Ming dynasty is generally considered as the golden age of Chinese porcelain. Until that time, the blue colour achieved from cobalt was imported from the Middle East, while China was trading with the Islamic world. At the beginning of the Ming dynasty, however, they discovered cobalt in China, which contained little manganese and had less of a brilliant colour. The fact that a very similar jar was found at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul suggests that it was a product created for export in the Jingdezhen kilns.