A blue and white cylindrical vase, rolwagen. Circa 1640. Photo Bonhams.
Vibrantly painted in blue with a continuous landscape depicting a scene from the '24 Paragons of Filial Piety', the neck with downward-pointing plantain leaves above an incised band at the shoulder and foot, the base unglazed. 42.cm (16 1/2in) high. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€9,700 - 15,000)
The scene shows a hunting party discovering that their quarry is not quite what they thought. The cowering boy clad in a deerskin and carrying a pail of milk is Tanzi, the seventh member of the 24 Paragons of Filial Piety (a group of historical children who went above and beyond in respect and loyalty to their parents).
Tanzi's father and mother both suffered from an eye infection that was only soothed with deer's milk. To collect the balm Tanzi disguised himself as a deer and mingled in amongst the local herd. Unfortunately a group of hunters soon appeared and almost killed the boy by mistake, only stopping the chase when he revealed himself.
For a related rolwagen vase, see Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars' Motifs and Narratives,New York, 1995, pp48-49; and also Transitional Wares and their Forerunners, Hong Kong, 1981, p.88, pl.60; p.110, pl.63.
Bonhams. FINE CHINESE ART. London, New Bond Street, 15 May 2014 - www.bonhams.com