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17 février 2024

Vase (meiping) with inscription 'Fine wine with delicate aroma', Yuan-Ming dynasty, second half of 14th century

Vase (meiping) with inscription 'Fine wine with delicate aroma', Yuan-Ming dynasty, second half of 14th century

Vase (meiping) with inscription 'Fine wine with delicate aroma', Yuan-Ming dynasty, second half of 14th century, Longquan kilns, south China. Stoneware with olive green (celadon) glaze. Height: 47cm. E. V. Lee Gift, FE.34-1972. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This jar belongs to the so-called Longquan wares, characterised by greenish or celadon glazes, and named after an important production area in South China active from the Song (960-1279) to the early Qing dynasty (1644-1911). The Longquan vessels were often decorated with designs incised, carved, moulded or applied in relief on the surface, and then covered with the glaze.

This example, with a short, small neck, was used to serve wine. A plug would have sealed the mouth. It is of particular interest for the four Chinese ideograms carved in relief under the glaze: 'mei jiu qing xiang' (fine wine, pure fragrance), which directly refer to the function of the jar. This inscription also appears on other pieces produced in the Longquan kilns, and possibly represents a trade mark.
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