A_blue_and_white_cylindrical_vase__rolwagen

A blue and white cylindrical vase, rolwagen. Circa 1640. Photo Bonhams

Brightly painted on one side in tones of characteristic blue with three attendants behind a dignitary standing on a terrace greeting two kneeling figures, beneath stiff leaves on the waisted neck. 46cm (18¼in) high. Estimate: £7,000 - 10,000, HKD 89,000 - 130,000, $ 11,000 - 16,000

Note: The term 'rolwagen', which means nothing in 17th century Dutch, has recently been considered by C.Sheaf, Reflections on Transitional Blue and White, Arts of Asia, Vol.39, Issue 1, Jan-Feb 2009, pp.91-99. The author proposes that with the introduction of these splendid simple cylindrical vases, designed to be viewed around by rolling them, a simple hand-writing mistake in the letter 's' in a VOC ledger recording the purchase of 'rolvasen' (vases which rotated for viewing) was crystallised into the meaningless name 'rolwagen' by which collectors now know these.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 12 May 2011 . New Bond Street www.bonhams.com