Porcelain with pale bluish-white (qingbai) glaze
Overall: 6.5 x 17.2 cm (2 9/16 x 6 3/4 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.182
Never intended for imperial use, qingbai ware was among the first mass-produced porcelain types and became a popular export.
This conical bowl and the shallow and wide one (CMA 2020.183) are both hand-incised with decoration suggesting waves, clouds, or floral sprays. All of these motifs had auspicious meaning: waves and clouds bring rain that fertilizes the fields, and flowers and plants were often associated with the beauty of human virtues. The carved and combed designs were swiftly cut with a wooden tool into the unfired leather-hard body before glazing. Once the glaze was applied, it pooled in the incised areas rendering the design more visible.
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