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Lot 3105. A rare wucai 'Dragon' dish, Mark and period of Longqing (1567-1572). Estimate 300,000 — 400,000 HKD.  Lot sold 1,360,000  HKD. Photo Sotheby's

the shallow rounded sides supported on a tapered foot, the interior decorated with a medallion enclosing two five-clawed dragons writhing sinuously amid ruyi-shaped clouds and flames in mutual pursuit of a blue 'flaming pearl' in the centre, one dragon with an underglaze-blue body and an iron-red serrated spine and the other vice versa, an iron-red double-line bordering the medallion and rim, the exterior similarly decorated with four further five-clawed dragons in red, blue, yellow and green respectively, all between a double-line border encircling the foot and rim, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark within double circles; 34 cm., 13 3/8 in. 

Note: Wucai wares from the short-lived Longqing reign are rare, and only a small number is preserved in museum and private collections. For a closely related dish in the British Museum, bequeathed by Francis Howard Paget in 1945, see J.Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, no.10:8. For another rare Longqing reign-marked piece sold at auction, see a wucai 'cross' box and cover decorated with similar five-clawed dragons, sold in these rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 455. 

Dish with dragons chasing flaming pearls, Ming dynasty, Longqing reign (1567-1572). Porcelain dish with rounded sides and straight rim. There are two confronted dragons with a flaming pearl and clouds in Wucai style underglaze blue and overglaze red, yellow and green enamel in the centre of the interior, and double lines in red enamel on the foot and both sides of the rim. There is a mark in underglaze blue on the base. Height: 60 millimetres. Diameter: 331 millimetres. Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, PDF 798 © Trustees of the British Museum

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong | 08 Apr 2014 - www.sothebys.com