Porcelaine, Moulage, Bleu sous couverte
Legs : Cernuschi, Henri
This box from the Henri Cernuschi collection is a very rare example of porcelain from the time of Emperor Longqing, whose rule was short-lived, from 1567 to 1572. It therefore supplies a precise marker in the history of the development of Chinese ceramics under the Ming.
Quite heavy and rather crudely made, this piece has an irregular glaze and a lively decoration in cobalt blue of dragons face-to-face among clouds around magic pearls, and, on the lid, a dragon among waves under a pearl on which appears the character shou (longevity). The energetic, lively style of the design heralds that of the reign of Wanli (1573-1620). The base of the box is bare except for a circle with the reign mark (nianhao) of Longqing. Other quadrangular boxes from the same reign are known, but their decoration differs considerably.