A fine and rare blue and white stemcup, Mark and period of Xuande (1426-1435)

Lot 2621. A fine and rare blue and white stemcup, Mark and period of Xuande (1426-1435); 10.5 cm., 4 1/8 in. Estimate 4,000,000—6,000,000 HKD. Lot Sold 4,820,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's 2010.

the globular body rising from a high domed hollow foot with stepped edge to an incurved broad mouth rim, finely painted in heaped and piled cobalt-blue tones to the interior with a floral medallion and to the exterior with a broad band of leafy scrolling daylilies, all between a lotus lappet band at the base and a chevron band at the rim, the stem with double lines and lotus-lappet and dot bands, the underglaze-blue six-character horizontal mark in the floral section below the rim.

Provenance: Bluett and Sons, London (according to label).

Note: This stemcup is delicately painted with the vibrant cobalt blue typical of the Xuande period on a form inspired by the archaic ritual bronze dou. Closely related examples can be found in important museums and private collections; see one in the Capital Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Shoudu bowuguan zang ci xuan, Beijing, 1991, pl. 96; one in the British Museum, London, published in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pl. 4:21; one in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, included in Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collections, vol. 10, Tokyo, 1980, pl. 219; another from the Sir Percival David Collection in the British Museum, London, ibid., vol. 11, pl. 90; and a fifth example, from the Meiyintang Collection, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4, pt. 1, London, 2010, pl. 1651.

For an example with a cover, see one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 8. See also a fragmentary stembowl of this design with a cover excavated from the waste heaps of the Ming imperial kiln site at Zhushan, Jingdezhen, included in the  exhibition Xuande Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 27.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 08 Oct 10 11:00 AM, Hong Kong