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A blue and white ingot-form cup, 17th-early 18th centuryEstimate $6,000 – $8,000Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The rising sides of the cup are painted with the 'Three Friends of Winter' (pine, prunus and bamboo) separated by stems of ruyi fungus at the center. The base is unglazed. 5 5/8 in. (14.2 cm.) long, box - Lot 3552

ProvenanceCollection of E.T. Chow; Sotheby Park Bernet, Hong Kong, 25 November 1980, lot 108.
Mason W. Wang, Maryland, 1983.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.

LiteratureJulia B. Curtis, Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars’ Motifs and Narratives, New York, 1995, pp. 114-115, no. 44.

ExhibitedChina Institute Gallery, New York, Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars Motifs and Narratives, 22 April – 5 August 1995.

NotesIn her note to this rare cup in Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars Motifs and Narratives, New York, 1995, p. 114, Dr. Julia Curtis writes that this example was probably used by a scholar as a brush washer, and that the decoration of the 'Three Friends', signifying constancy and steadfastness, embodies the qualities of the scholar-official. The shape is rare to find in porcelain. Dr. Curtis also notes that the only other known published example of this shape, but dating to the nineteenth century, is illustrated by Claudia Brown in Chinese Porcelain: The Wong Collection, Phoenix, 1982, pl. 113.

CHRISTIE’S. AN ERA OF INSPIRATION: 17TH-CENTURY CHINESE PORCELAINS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JULIA AND JOHN CURTIS, 16 March 2015,New York, Rockefeller Plaza