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Iron-Red and Blue Underglaze Dragon Plate

Iron-Red and Blue Underglaze Dragon Plate

Culture Group: Chinese
Culture: Chinese
Date: 1736–1795
Medium: Porcelain
Dimensions:
1 7/8 x 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 inches (4.8 x 18.7 x 18.7 cm)
Classification: Archival document
Credit Line: Gift of Col. Van R. White
Label Text:The seal marks this plate (pan) as dating from the Qianlong period. It was during the period in which the Jindezhen porcelain enterprise flourished due to imperial endorsement. It is decorated with a central medallion, featuring an iron-red dragon in the middle of rolling waves of blue underglaze (qinghua). Nine similar motifs are repeated on the exterior. The five-claw dragon is historically linked to the Yuan dynasty emperor, Wenzong, a Mongol ruler well versed in Chinese traditional culture. He was an avid player of the board game, weiqi, much in vogue among the educated elite Chinese. The double-horned five-claw dragons that adorned the jars for collecting the game pieces at the time became a symbol of Yuan imperial dominance, and their attempt to assimilate Chinese traditional culture. The flying dragon pattern eventually became a general symbol of the imperial court.
Object number: 1973.50.93
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