A blue and white 'fish' charger


Lot 17. A blue and white 'fish' charger. Yuan dynasty, 14th Century; 45 cm., 17 3/4 in. Estimate 1,500,000-2,500,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,820,000 HKDPhoto Sotheby's

potted with shallow rounded sides rising from a straight foot to an everted rim, painted in deep cobalt blue on the interior with a large mandarin fish with characteristic spots, circular pectoral and tail fins and a spiky dorsal fin, swimming among water-weed, clover fern and other aquatic plants, encircled on the cavetto by a lotus scroll below a diaper border on the rim, the exterior similarly decorated with six lotus blooms with white centres on an undulating scroll, the unglazed base fired to a pale orange

EXHIBITED: Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, The British Museum, London, 1994.

LITTERATURE: Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 2, no. 635.

NOTE: The mandarin-fish motif is a classic Yuan design and one of the most impressive. 

A number of dishes of this design are preserved, but they vary considerably in their execution, the present piece being particularly powerful. A similar dish in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, ed. John Ayers, London, 1986, vol. II, no. 568; another in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, is published in Nakazawa Fujio and Hasegawa Shoko, Chgoku no tji / Chinese Ceramics, vol. 8, Gen Min no seika / Blue-and-White in Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Tokyo, 1995, pl 15; and one with  the character chun ('spring') incised on the fish before glazing, formerly in the Ardabil Shrine and now in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran, is published in John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, D.C., 1956, pl. 9. A very similar dish with drilled owner's marks on the base, probably added in the Middle East, was sold in our London rooms, 5th April 1960, lot 20

Sotheby's. The Meiyintang Collection, Part III - An Important Selection of Imperial Chinese Porcelains, Hong Kong | 04 avr. 2012