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Alain.R.Truong
15 juillet 2016

Pair of bowls with gem overlay, Ming dynasty, Jiajing period, AD 1522–1566

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Pair of bowls with gem overlay. Porcelain with underglaze blue, gilding and semi-precious stones, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, Ming dynasty, Jiajing period, AD 1522–1566; PDF A793, PDF A794 © Trustees of the British Museum

This bowl has a crane or heron in a lotus pond in the centre in underglaze blue and an underglaze blue mark on the base which reads 福壽康寧 (fu shou kang ning ‘may good fortune and health be with you’). However it is the exterior which is interesting. The bowl has been ornamented with low-grade rubies and other stones in gold mounts. Connecting the stones are interlaced gold lines. This method of decorating by first chiselling the surface and then filling in with niello and jewels follows a style popularly used by the Turkish Ottoman court to decorate jade and crystal.

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