Two blue and white shallow bowls, Chongzhen period, circa 1643

Two blue and white shallow bowls, Chongzhen period, circa 1643Estimate $4,000 – $6,000Price Realized $3,750 . Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

Each thickly potted, shallow bowl has a slightly flared rim and is decorated on the exterior with four small landscape panels set against a carved key-fret ground, between an upper lozenge border and a lower cell band. One bowl is decorated on the interior with a duck perched on a rock in a lotus pond, the other with 'antiques' containing flowering branches and fruit. A neatly delineated unglazed band encircles the unglazed base. 5 ¼ in. (13.3 cm.) diam.

ProvenanceThe Property of Captain Michael Hatcher; Christie's Amsterdam, 14 March 1984, lots 259 and 260.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.

Literature: Julia B. Curtis, “Transitionware Made Plain: A Wreck in the South China Sea,” Oriental Art, Volume XXXI, No. 2, Summer, 1985, p. 167, fig. 10 (right, dish with vase).

NotesA similar example, decorated in the interior with a standing official holding a hu tablet, is illustrated by 
S. Marchant & Son, Exhibition of Chongzhen-Shunzhi Transitional Porcelain From A Private American Collection,London, 2007, p. 20, no. 9, where it is noted that the carved band on the exterior was probably intended to simulate carved lacquer. Other examples can be found in the British Museum, London, and the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul (see Jessica Harrison-Hall, Catalogue of Late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, no. 12:40, and Regina Krahl and John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol. II, col. pl. 1245, respectively).

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