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footing of ming bowls

by R Cowper

Hi, Peter......At present I see for sale on the net a few ming bowls the external base of which are absolutely bare of paint and glaze. Did Ming potters produce plates deliberately like this and if so why and if not how by natural means could the foot and the underside base end up in this condition?

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Apr 20, 2011
by: peter

"...absolutely bare of paint and glaze"

Hi, I'm not sure what you mean with the above, but assuming it is referring to an unglazed bottom, that would be normal.
Please be aware that before the Ming dynasty the majority of ceramic bottoms, porcelain or other, were never glazed (either with a transparent of color glaze). You could say during the Ming dynasty there occurred a transition from mostly unglazed to mostly glazed bottoms.
During that period, it depends on reign, kiln and probably item quality/purpose, whether a bottom was glazed or not.
I recommend you look at the bottoms at, which represents a good range of the different bottoms you will find on Ming dynasty bowls.
The unglazed bottom was not completely abandoned, however, and unglazed bottoms can be found even on some porcelain items in the Qing dynasty, mostly on more coarse porcelain items.

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