A Rare Wucai Double-Gourd Wall Vase with Roosters and Phoenix

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Lot 1901. A Rare Wucai Double-Gourd Wall Vase with Roosters and Phoenix. Mark and Period of Wanli. 30.5 cm., 12 in. Estimate 600,000-800,000 HKD - Lot Sold: 1,340,000 HKD. Photo Sotheby's

the flat-back vase of elegantly potted double-gourd form, supported on a slightly flared foot, gently rising to a slender neck and lipped mouth, the lower bulb decorated in colours of the wucai palette with a pair of confronting roosters and birds in a garden scene with flowering branches springing from rockwork, below three fillets of ruyi heads at the curved waist, the upper bulb similarly painted with a pair of phoenix in flight, amongst multicolour scrolling clouds beneath pendant plantain leaves encircling the mouth, the reverse inscribed with a six-character reign mark within a rectangular cartouche between a pendant lotus leaf and a lotus bloom, wood stand.

PROVENANCE: Christie's Hong Kong, 29th April 1996, lot 685.

NOTE: A closely related example is illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1999, vol. 1, pl. 101; one in the Tianjin City Art Museum is published in Zhongguo taoci quanji, vol. 13, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 110; another in the Dresden Porzellansammlung is included in E. Zimmerman, Chinesisches Porzellan, Leipzig, 1923, pl.66; and a fourth example was sold at Christie's London, 11th July 1977, lot 118.

Compare a Wanli wall vase of this form, but decorated with a dense design of phoenixes amid peonies and rockwork on the lower bulb, from the Jingguantang collection, included in the exhibition Joined Colours. Decoration and Meaning in Chinese Porcelain, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., 1993, cat. no. 34, and sold in our London rooms, 12th July 2006, lot 68; one sold in these rooms, 10th April 2006, lot 1781; and another vase sold at Christie's New York, 9th November 1978, lot 130.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. Hong Kong. 05 Oct 2011