A rare small molded Longquan celadon dish, Yuan dynasty, 14th century

A rare small molded Longquan celadon dish, Yuan dynasty, 14th century © Christie's Image 2013

The thickly potted shallow dish crisply molded with sixteen bracket lobes along the edge of the flattened mouth rim, each lobe framing a pair of florets, the interior center molded with a scene of a recumbent mythical creature with a single horn and pinions at its shoulders and haunches, its head turned to face the crescent moon, the cavetto molded with a scroll of blossoming chrysanthemums, covered overall with a pale green celadon glaze - 5 13/16in. (14.7cm.) diam., Japanese wood box. Lot 287. Estimate $8,000 - $12,000Price Realized $33,460 

Notes: A dish of similar size and design in The Art Institute of Chicago is illustrated by Y. Mino and K. R. Tsiang, Ice and Green Clouds, Traditions of Chinese Celadon, Indianapolis, 1986, p. 211, fig. 86. The design is discussed by the authors, p. 210, who describe the animal as a xiniu, a mythical bovine creature with a single horn, the curvature of which was thought to resemble a crescent moon. The theme of a xiniu gazing at the new moon was popular during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Another dish of this design in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics: A New Comprehensive Survey, New York, 1996, p. 246, no. 509. Two more dishes of similar design from the Edward T. Chow Collection were sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, 16 December 1980, lots 317 and 318. 

CHRISTIE'S. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 September 2003, New York, Rockefeller Plaza