The interior of the bowl is engraved in the white body beneath a clear glaze with dragons pursuing pearls in the clouds. On the exterior, two five-clawed dragons are engraved and enamelled in emerald green on a yellow background, pursuing flaming pearls among swollen clouds. A border of lotus panels marks the base of bowl, while a classic scroll border decorates the foot of the stem. The motif of dragons chasing pearls appeared in Chinese decorative art after the Tang and Song dynasties, as a result of Buddhist influences. In Buddhism, the dragon king uses this wish-granting pearl (cintamani) as his jewellery.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Place where the work was made
porcelain with yellow and green enamel
10.8 x 15.9 cm
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1966, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1967 -
Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 1977–26 Jun 1977
Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012
Referenced in 3 publications
J. Hepburn Myrtle, Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Sydney, 1977, 8,21,49 (illus.). cat.no. 21
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 120 (colour illus.).
Julian Thompson, Orientations, 'Chinese Porcelain in the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 96-103, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 99 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.5 and 5a (mark)