Red-glazed wine cup
Ming dynasty, 1403-24
Museum no. 168A-1905
Red-glazed porcelain of the Ming period is rare. The colour is difficult to achieve because it is made using copper, which is very unstable during firing.
Red wares were first made at the insistence of the Yongle emperor. He commissioned them with porcelain of other colours for use on altars in his new capital, Beijing. But knowledge of firing the red correctly was lost again by 1435.