A Rare Blue and White Ming-Style Moonflask. Qianlong Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot 1547. A Rare Blue and White Ming-Style Moonflask. Qianlong Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795); 13¾ in. (35 cm.) high. Estimate $500,000 - $700,000. Price Realised $2,658,500. © Christie's Ltd 2011

The convex sides finely painted in rich cobalt blue in imitation of Ming fifteenth-century style with eight petals enclosing the bajixiang radiating from a narrow petal band that encircles a domed boss centered by a spoked flower head within a key-fret border repeated at the edge of the sides, the narrow sides painted with bands of lingzhi scroll repeated on the spreading foot, and cylindrical neck below a single rib and ruyi and key-fret bands, with a pair of arched leaf-scroll handles.

Provenance: Hugh Moss Ltd., London, 1972

Notes: This flask is particularly rare as others of this design are usually of larger size (19½ in. high) such as the examples illustrated in in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, in Blue and White Ware of the Ch'ing Dynasty, vol. 2, Hong Kong, 1968, pl. 15; two in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Japan, 1987, pls. 949 and 950; and by M. Beurdeley and G. Raindre in Qing Porcelain, New York, 1987, pl. 154. On these larger flasks the handles are of a different shape and there is more space between the eight lotus petals and the outer key-fret border. A similar blue and white flask of the same unusual small size, also with Qianlong seal mark, from the collection of the Manno Art Museum, was sold in our London rooms, 21 June 2001, lot 106. A larger version of this type of moonflask, also with Qianlong seal mark, from the Greenwald collection, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 1 December 2010, lot 2826.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I & II,  15 - 16 September 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.