A rare and unusual cafe-au-lait ground white-slip decorated 'Dragon' bowl, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period

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Lot 475. A rare and unusual café-au-lait ground white-slip decorated 'Dragon' bowl, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722). Diameter 7 3/4 in., 19.6 cm/ Estimate 8,000 — 12,000 USD. Lot sold 37,500 . Photo Sotheby's.

of conical form, decorated on the exterior with two striding dragons chasing 'flaming pearls' among stylized clouds in white slip, all reserved on a pale coffee brown ground, apocryphal Da Ming Chenghua nianzhi mark in underglaze blue within double circles. 

Provenance: Seattle Art Museum.
Sotheby's New York, 2nd November 1979, lot 367

Litterature: China House of Arts, Catalogue, New York, 1981, p. 32.

Note: This particularly shade of toffee brown glaze was introduced during the Wanli period. The decorative application of slip under a monochrome glaze was popular in the near east and may well have traveled from there to China in the late 17th century both made for export and as an interesting foreign technique to be assimilated into the Chinese aesthetic as seen in the present example. A bowl of almost identical size and design is in the Palace Museum and illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 56, no. 50. Another, slightly larger bowl, but with a Kangxi mark, from the Estate of Lolita Armour Higgason, was sold in our Los Angeles rooms, 9th June 1976, lot 1447.

Sotheby's. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS & WORKS OF ART. 18 MARS 2014 - 19 MARS 2014. NEW YORK