Flask with dragon
Yuan dynasty, 1300-68
Porcelain, painted before glazing
Museum no. C.47-1935
Purchased from the Eumorphopoulos Collection with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Vallentin Bequest, Sir Percival David and the Universities' China Committee
Blue-and-white decoration originated in the period of Mongol rule (1271-1368), when China was open to outside influences. It was created by applying designs in cobalt - probably a Middle Eastern idea - to a white porcelain body.
Blue-and-white was very successful, at first in export markets and later in China itself. Its introduction marks a revolution in the history of ceramics, as it became the most widely imitated of Chinese wares.