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Inscription

in standard script on the base in underglaze blue in two vertical lines of three characters each: Da Qing Kangxi nian zhi (made in the Kangxi reign of the great Qing dynasty)

Provenance

Henry Sampson [1838-1914]. (Gorer, London); sold 1913 to (Dreicer & Co., New York, agents of Gorer, London); sold 1915 to Peter A. B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A. B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; gift 1942 to NGA.

Bibliography
1942
Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 20.
1998
Bower, Virginia, Josephine Hadley Knapp, Stephen Little, and Robert Wilson Torchia. Decorative Arts, Part II: Far Eastern Ceramics and Paintings; Persian and Indian Rugs and Carpets. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1998: 75-76, color repro.
Technical Summary

The pale blue glaze is evenly distributed over the vessel except where it has pooled, creating darker bands. These areas are at the base of the knob and just above the foot. The interiors of the lid and bowl are much paler. There is one particularly noticeable pinhole in the glaze on the lid exterior, and there are some smaller interior pinholes and black spots. The unglazed paste of the foot-ring and interior flanges is very smooth. A rusty orange residue appears on the unglazed flanges of the lid and bowl, and is slightly visible from the exterior when the lid is on. Although the cover shifts slightly when the vessel is moved, the flanged construction of the bowl ensures stability.