A rare blue and white square 'dragon' vase, Wanli six-character mark and of the period. Estimate £60,000 - 80,000 (€82,000 - 110,000). Photo: Bonhams.
Of baluster form with tapering foot rising to a globular upper section and high shoulder, painted in vivid violet tone of underglaze blue to each side with a front-facing five-clawed dragon, striding amongst cloud scrolls, precious objects and flowering sprays above a pair of phoenix and a flying crane flanked by billowing clouds, all beneath a band of overlapping and descending cicada-shaped lappets to the high shoulder, bordered by scrolling foliage to the neck, box. 18.8cm (7 3/8in) high (2).
Provenance: a Scottish private collection
Note: Compare a jar of very similar size and decoration, Wanli mark and of the period, in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, no.1954.472. For another similar jar, see Mayuyama: Seventy Years, vol 1, Tokyo, 1976, p.321, no.959. See also a related blue and white square jar and cover Jiajing marks and period with a design of dragons, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (II), Hong Kong, 2002, p.102, no.95.
Bonhams. FINE CHINESE ART, 14 May 2015 10:00 BST - LONDON, NEW BOND STREET