This store is where an old collector of Chinese paintings and porcelain offers for sale items that he finds interesting, beautiful and thought-provoking. This very rare white cup is incised in the Anhua style. "Secret White" with a dragon motif. Anhua porcelain originated during the Yongle reign. It was also then that'semi-bodiless' (ban tuotai) cups came to be.
This very thin state (about 1mm), commonly known as'eggshell', was and is still extremely difficult to obtain. All the signs are there of a genuine Yongle piece.
A few large bubbles scattered among tiny irregular sized bubbles in the glaze. Very pale blue-green pooling of the glaze on the base. Four character incised signature in seal script calligraphic style, within a circle. This piece illustrates an important technical innovation of the period, the harder porcelain allowing potters to create ever thinner pieces. Skilled painters could then make very fine incised patterns on the dry unfired body, thus creating, after glazing, the extraordinary Anhua effect, which can only be seen when the vase is set against the light.
One can also imagine how many unsuccessful trials were necessary before an acceptable piece finally emerged. Only Imperial kilns could ever afford to waste so much labour and material to bring porcelain making to this level of high art.There are areas of uneven potting and/or glazing, as shown (in an exaggerated fashion) in one of the photographs. There is also a raised point ('nipple') at the bottom of the cup, which is common in porcelain of the Yuan and Ming periods. The top rim is left unglazed, as is the pedestal rim, both showing a subtle contrast between the pure white porcelain body and the lightly toned glaze. This subdued glaze imparts the jade-like effect so often sought during the Yongle reign.
I did my best with the photographs, trying to show some of the Anhua effect but they are understandably not entirely faithful to the subtle elegance of this piece. The item "Thinnest Chinese Porcelain Cup Ming Yongle White w. Anhua Dragon Motif" is in sale since Wednesday, September 28, 2016. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\China\Glasses & Cups".
The seller is "hiddenmasters" and is located in -. This item can be shipped worldwide.