A peachbloom-glazed water pot, taibai zun, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period


A peachbloom-glazed water pot, Taibai zun, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period. Estimate HK$700,000 - HK$900,000 ($90,745 - $116,672). Price Realized HK$875,000 ($113,432)Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The 'beehive'-shaped vessel is well potted with rounded sides rising to a short flaring rim, incised with three archaistic dragon roundels on the body. The glaze is of rich raspberry tones with crimson-red speckles. The interior and countersunk base are covered in a transparent glaze. 4 7/8 in. (12.5 cm.) wide, box

ProvenanceSold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 5 November 1996, lot 840
Sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2 May 2005, lot 671

NotesWaterpots of this form are known as Taibai zun, after the Tang dynasty poet Li Bo who is often depicted leaning against a large wine jar of similar form. They are also known as jizhao zun because their shape resembles that of a chicken coop. Such waterpots belong to the group of eight peachbloom wares for the scholar's desk, of which a complete set is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, p. 237. Another complete set of eight from the Jingguantang Collection, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 November 1996, lot 557.

Similar waterpots can be found in many important museum collections, for example, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 142, pl. 125; in the Percival David Foundation, London, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Ming and Qing Monochrome Wares, London, 1989, no. 580; and another included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T. Y. Chao Family Foundation, 1976, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 52. 

Christie's. IMPORTANT CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 2 December 2015, Convention Hall