(China – )
10.6 x 21.5 cm (irreg.)
Chinese porcelain made in the Xuande period is the most highly esteemed by connoisseurs for the technical perfection attained in this period was rarely surpassed. This piece is a classic Ming ceramic, its shape characteristic of the first quarter of the 15th century.
This 'lianzu' or 'lotus-seed capsule' bowl often occurs decorated in underglaze blue, while the subtler, more appealing incised decoration of this bowl is far more uncommon. The shape imitates the seed pod of a lotus with the exterior of the bowl decorated with elongated 'lotus panels' and a regular key fret around the rim. The cavetto is decorated with a peony scroll in the scarcely perceptible 'secret decoration' ('anhua') so skilfully practised by Chinese potters.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, June 1988.
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015