Lot 50. A wucai ‘dragon and phoenix’ fan-shaped box, mark and period of Wanli (1573-1619). Estimate HKD 100,000 — 150,000 (11,289 - 16,934 EUR). Lot Sold 325,000 HKD (36,690 EUR). Photo: Sotheby's.
with straight sides rising from a knife-pared foot, each facet deftly enamelled with a leaping five-clawed dragon pursuing a flaming pearl beside a swooping phoenix, all amidst leafy sprays issuing stylised flower heads and within underglaze-blue double-line borders, the glazed base inscribed with a six-character reign mark in a scallop-edged rectangular cartouche, wood cover and stand - 9.8 cm, 3 7/8 in.
Provenance: Collection of S.H. Evans, until 1962.
Bluett & Sons Ltd, London, 1962 (£40).
Collection of Roger Pilkington (1928-69), from 1962 (£75).
Note: Two boxes of this type were sold in these rooms, 21st May 1984, lot 67, and 26th October 1993, lot 61; two further boxes with covers were sold in our London rooms, 11th July 1978, lot 192, and 9th June 2004, lot 187; and another box and cover of this form, but painted with two confronting dragons, in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pl. 11:152. Compare also a Wanli mark and period box of this form painted with dragons in underglaze blue, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in the Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (II), Shanghai, 2000, pl. 174; and a pair from the Edward T. Chow collection, sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 14.