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Lot 3127. A fine and extremely rare Imperial Longquan celadon-glazed ' 'dragon' bowl,  14th Century. Estimation 1,800,000-2,500,000 HKD. Unsold. photo Sotheby's

the rounded sides supported on a slightly splayed foot rising to an everted mouthrim, carved on the interior with a stylised flower enclosed within a continuous scroll of lotus, all encircled by two sinuous five-clawed dragons striding amongst clouds, the exterior carved with a band of upright lappets above the key-fret-body foot, covered overall with a thick glossy celadon-green glaze save for an unglazed ring on the base exposing the russet; 17.8 cm., 7 in. 

PROVENANCE: An old Japanese collection in Nagoya.

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: This bowl is unique for its incised decoration which appears to have been inspired by blue-and-white designs contemporary to its time. A related bowl carved with broader lappets below a classic scroll on the exterior and a keyfret band bordering the rim of the interior, and flecked with spots of iron oxide, in the Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo, was included in the exhibition Getting to Know Ceramics V. The Beauty of Celadon – Searching for the Forbidden Color, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, 2006, cat. no. 50. See a bowl of this size but of rounded form and lacking a foot, carved with lotus sprays on the interior and the exterior with lappets below a key-fret band, sold in our London rooms, 11th December 1984, lot 272.

For the blue and white counterpart to this piece, see a bowl decorated with rectangular lotus petals below a band of lingzhi fungus on the exterior, the interior with branches of bamboo and prunus around a lingzhi fungus in the centre and a classic scroll bordering the rim, sold in our London rooms, 15th May 1967, lot 99; and another, but the interior with a floral medallion centre, also sold in our London rooms, 18th December 1996, lot 867.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. Hong Kong | 04 avr. 2012 www.sothebys.com