‘Palace’ bowl Jingdezhen, southeast China Ming dynasty, Chenghua reign mark and period, AD 1465-1487

This finely potted ‘palace bowl’ was not made for trade but for use at the court of the Chenghua emperor. Scholars and collectors regard Chenghua period porcelain as the best of all time. The designs on this piece are plainer and less dense than those of earlier periods, to show off the porcelain in between, which is whiter (through a glaze that is clearer) than ever before. Instead of using imported cobalt which fired unevenly from pale blue to black, potters used Chinese cobalt which gave a more even effect. Porcelain, underglaze blue decoration. Bequeathed by Mr F. P. M. Schiller.