Lot 47. A fine and extremely rare iron-red and green-enamel decorated zhadou, Ming dynasty, Zhengde period (1506-1521); 14.4 cm., 5 5/8 in. Estimate 900,000 - 1,200,000 HKD. Lot sold 3,620,000 HKD. Photo Sotheby's 2012
the rounded lower body supported on a splayed foot with a prominent edge, rising to a wide flared neck, the fine white porcelain painted in two registers over the glaze with red fish and red-and-green water weeds around the body and neck, and with patches of splashing waves in red and green above the foot, all between single or double red line borders repeated around the foot, the fish finely incised through the enamel with details reserved in white, the vessel covered overall with a very smooth glaze.
Provenance: Collection of Edward T. Chow.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 19th May 1981, lot 431.
Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th October 2002, lot 682
Literature: Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding [Appraisal of Ming and Qing porcelain], Hong Kong, 1993, col. pl. 59.
Yeh Pei-lang [Ye Peilan], Beauty of Ceramics, vol. 7: Gems of the Wucai, Taipei, 1996, pl. 24.
Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 4, no. 1681.
Note: This piece appears to be unique, although a more colourful leys jar, similarly painted with fish among waterweeds but in polychrome enamels, including turquoise and yellow, and with an iron-red Zhengde mark (AD 1506-21), was sold in our London rooms, 17th December 1996, lot 79. Ye Peilan and Geng Baochang, both of the Palace Museum, Beijing, equally have attributed this piece to the Zhengde reign in their publications (op. cit.).
Similar decoration appears also on bowls and dishes with Hongzhi (AD 1488-1505) or Zhengde reign marks. A Hongzhi-marked bowl of this type is illustrated in Fujioka Ryoichi and Hasebe Gakuji, Sekai tōji zenshū/Ceramic Art of the World, vol. XIV: Min/Ming Dynasty, Tokyo, 1976, col. pls. 168 and 169; and a Zhengde-marked bowl with red fish in the National Museum of China, Beijing, is published in Zhongguo Guojia Bowuguan guancang wenwu yanjiu congshu/Studies on the Collections of the National Museum of China. Ciqi juan [Porcelain section]: Mingdai [Ming dynasty], Shanghai, 2007 pl. 70.
Sotheby's. The Meiyintang Collection, Part IV - An Important Selection of Imperial Chinese Porcelains, Hong Kong, 09 oct. 2012