the wide, flared cup resting on a hollow splayed stem with horizontal bamboo-node ridges, emphasized by incised lines, the interior crisply moulded around the well with two four-clawed dragons striding among flames in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl', one with the character yu ('jade') in front of its foremost claw, set around a central medallion boldly painted in dark cobalt blue with a chrysanthemum spray within a moulded double-line border, all under a 'classic' scroll at the rim, the exterior decorated in underglaze blue with a single three-clawed dragon with wide open jaws, a slender undulating body and scales finely detailed by cross-hatching, emitting flames and chasing a pearl, the cup applied overall with a smooth transparent glaze slightly tinged to blue and thinning to white on the moulded designs on the interior
A piece in the British Museum, London is published in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, no. 1: 24; and two similar stemcups from the collections of Mrs. O. Harriman and Lord Cunliffe, respectively, were included in the exhibition Chinese Blue and White Porcelain: 14th to 19th Centuries, The Oriental Ceramic Society at The Arts Council Gallery, London, 1953-4, cat. nos. 11 and 12.
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