PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF EMIL HULTMARK (1872-1943)
Bowls of this design are also preserved in the two Palace Museums, including one from the Qing court collection, illustrated in Geng Baochang, ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue and white porcelain in the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2002, vol. 2, pl. 146; two such bowls in the Taipei Palace Museum were included in the Museum’s exhibitions Ming Xuande ciqi tezhan mulu/Catalogue of a Special Exhibition of Hsuan-te Period Porcelain, Taipei, 1980, no.36, and Mingdai Xuande guanyao jinghua tezhan tulu/Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Selected Hsüan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 1998, no. 62.
The iron-red enamel ground on this bowl appears to be a later addition, also because no other example of such bowl with an iron-red ground is published. In fact, Xuande mark and period vessels adorned with an iron-red ground are exceedingly rare, the only recorded example appears to be a jardinière excavated in 1988 from the imperial kiln site in Zhushan (fig. 1), illustrated in Imperial Porcelains from the Reign of Xuande in the Ming Dynasty: A Comparison of Porcelains from the Imperial Kiln Site At Jingdezhen and the Imperial Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2015, no. 95. More commonly, however, iron red is employed as part of the painted decoration, as seen on two iron-red and underglaze-blue dragon bowls in the Taipei Palace Museum, published in Minji meihin zuroku, vol. 1,Tokyo, 1977, pls 96 and 97, where the red is used to define the waves and the dragons respectively.
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