Bowl | Jingdezhen, China, Ming dynasty (1368–1644), late 15th or early 16th century


Object TitleBowl
OriginJingdezhen, China
DateMing dynasty, 1368–1644, late 15th or early 16th century
Dimensionsdiameter 14.8 cm
CollectionUniversity Museum and Art Gallery, HKU
Accession No.HKU.C.1978.0659

This thickly potted bowl is decorated with a honeycomb pattern and stylised lotus panels in pale blue. Its compact, hard porcelain body is more grey than white, with a blue-tinged glaze that contains numerous bubbles. Bowls of this type were mass-produced at Jingdezhen in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century for export to Indonesia and the Philippines, a period marked by a sudden outflow of Chinese blue-and-white ceramics to Southeast Asia. Several factors contributed to this flurry of activity, including a thriving private commercial industry which had developed in response to reduced imperial porcelain production between 1435 and 1465. They were also sent to Persia, where the honeycomb pattern was prominently used on fritware dishes made in Tabriz and other important cultural centres.