Bowl with dragon design, Hongzhi mark and period (1488-1505), Jingdezhen kilns, south China. Porcelain painted in coloured enamels. Diameter: 16.5cm. Given from the Bloxam Collection (2007). Museum no. C.142-1928 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
In the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) Jingdezhen became the major 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. This bowl painted in coloured enamels with an unglazed dragon design is typical of the Hongzhi reign period.