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A rare green and yellow 'dragon' bowl, Zhengde four-character mark and of the period

The gently rounded sides slightly waisted and rising from a straight foot ring to an everted rim, incised around the exterior with two sinuous dragons in pursuit of flaming pearls amidst clouds, with a band of lotus lappets below, all reserved on a rich yellow ground. 15cm (6in) diam. Sold for £45,600

Provenance: R.H.R.Palmer, collection label no.398.
Palmer Inventory no.398, where it is stated that the bowl was purchased in December 1935 for £45.

Exhibited: The Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1950, Polychrome Porcelain of the Ming and Manchu Dynasties, exhibition label no.95.
The Oriental Ceramic Society, The Arts of the Ming Dynasty, London, 1957, Catalogue no.196.

A very similar bowl was sold at Christie's London, 16 November 1998, lot 97, and was compared to the present Palmer example.

The same yellow and green incised design is also seen on spittoons (zhadou) of the same period, see one example in the Baur Collection, Geneva, illustrated by J.Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Vol.I, Geneva, 1999, p.123, fig.70; and another sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 30 October 2002, lot 253.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 14 May 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com