An extremely rare blue and white cup stand. Yuan dynasty, 14th Century. Photo Sotheby's
with flat base and an everted rim, moulded in the centre with a raised ring corresponding to a recessed ring on the underside, painted in bright cobalt blue with a 'flaming pearl' on the interior, resembling the word 'Allah' written in Arabic, encircled by a half cash-diaper border on the raised ring, surrounded by petal lappets enclosing flaming pearls and 'classic' scroll on the rim, the exterior left plain, the base unglazed and fired a light orange tone; 15.4 cm., 6 7/8 in. Estimate 3,000,000-5,000,000 HKD
PROVENANCE: Collection of R. Soame Jenyns, London (1904-1976).
Collection of Captain Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson (died 1968).
The Mount Trust Collection.
Reach Family Collection.
Eskenazi Ltd, London.
EXHIBITED: Chinese Blue and White Porcelain: 14th to 19th Centuries, The Oriental Ceramic Society at The Arts Council Gallery, London, 1953-4, cat. no. 15.
Mostra d'Arte Cinese/Exhibition of Chinese Art, Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 1954, cat. no. 605.
The Mount Trust Collection of Chinese Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1970, cat. no. 81.
Chinese Art from the Reach Family Collection, Eskenazi Ltd, London, 1989, cat. no. 30.
Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, The British Museum, London, 1994.
LITERATURE: Margaret Medley, 'Chinese Art from the Reach Family Collection', Orientations, November 1989, p. 105, fig. 3.
Margaret Medley, 'Ruizi jiazu shoucang de gudai Zhongguo yishupin zhanlang pingjie [Review of the exhibition of
ancient Chinese art objects from the Reach family collection]', Gugong Wenwu Jikan / The National Palace Museum
Monthly of Chinese Art, no. 89, 1990, p. 51, fig. 6.
Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 2, no. 638.
NOTE: Yuan dynasty blue-and-white cup stands are extremely rare, as are porcelain cups that would match these stands. In its lively brushwork, the present piece is a characteristic Yuan example. A perhaps a slightly later version of this pattern, with lobed rim and central ring, less freely painted and lacking the flaming pearl, is also in the Meiyintang collection, illustrated in Krahl, op. cit., vol. 4, no. 1616. Another cup stand of similar form with the 'Three Friends of Winter' around the flaming pearl in the centre was sold in these rooms, 14th November 1989, lot 15. A fragmentary cup stand of that type, apparently found together with a rare cup among the Yuan remains at Luomaqiao near Jingdezhen was included in the exhibition Ceramic Finds from Jingdezhen Kilns (10th-17th Century), Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1992, cat. no. 163.
Sotheby's. The Meiyintang Collection, Part III - An Important Selection of Imperial Chinese Porcelains. Hong Kong | 04 Apr 2012, 10:15 AM www.sothebys.com