Lidded jar. Porcelain painted in cobalt blue. Ming dynasty, Zhengde mark and period (1506-1521). Jingdezhen, China. Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Murray Bequest and the Horn Bequest. From the Garner collection. Museum number: FE.38&A-1980. Victoria & Albert Museum © V&A Images

In the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) Jingdezhen became China's most important ceramic-manufacturing centre. Imperial kilns were established to produce fine porcelain for the exclusive use of the emperors. The tradition of inscribing the emperor's reign title on the wares also started in the Ming. The shape and painted decoration of this lidded jar is typical of the Zhengde reign period.