Ming Dynasty Blue & White ‘Winged Dragon’ Jar and Cover
Blue & White ‘Winged Dragon’ Jar with Lid and Foo Lion Finial – Ming Dynasty Xuande Reign MK (1425-1435)
This hand-painted, under glazed porcelain Antique Reproduction is hand-crafted in the People’s Republic of China. This jar encapsulates the understated beauty created at the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen in the early Ming dynasty. With its softly painted dragon motif, it is endearing to look at. This design is of extreme rarity and may represent a unique example preserved from the Yongle period (1403-1424), of a design that continued to be produced at the imperial kilns during the Xuande (1426-1435) and Chenghua (1465-1487) reigns. The design remained extremely rare, however, in each of these periods and appears to have been discontinued thereafter.
The rare motif of a flying-fish dragon (feiyu) appears to have been used only briefly, during the reigns referenced above. Its appearance may be related to the tightening of Ming regulations regarding what types of dragons and how many claws different categories of officials and other groups at court were permitted to use. Some have also suggested that the flying-fish dragon may be a reference to China’s position as the world’s most important seafaring empire in the fifteenth century. There is a six-character Xuande reign mark just above one of the dragon’s snout.