Lot 2978. A fine and extremely rare Ming blue and white stembowl, Chenghua period (1465-1487). Estimate HKD 4,000,000 - HKD 6,000,000 (USD 520,000 - USD 770,000). Price Realised HKD 3,860,000 (USD 497,847). © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.
With thinly potted rounded sides rising to a flaring mouth rim, resting on an elegantly splayed stem foot decorated with eight simple florettes within double-line borders, the exterior of the bowl finely painted in bright tones to depict an Indian lotus scroll above overlapping triangular plantain leaves, the interior medallion painted with a single peony spray within double circles, the glaze with a soft blue tinge - 6 15/16 in. (17.7 cm.) high, box
Provenance: Previously sold at Christie's London, 15 July 1981, lot 89
The Robert Chang Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 November 2004, lot 829
Literature: A. du Boulay, Christie's Pictorial History of Chinese Ceramics, Oxford, 1984, p. 120, pl. 4
Exhibited: Christie's London, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 1993, Catalogue, p. 42, no. 13
Notes: The design of scrolling lotus is well-known on 'palace bowls' of the Chenghua period, although as a decorative motif on a stembowl the present lot is unique. Compare the closely related painting style with two Chenghua-marked palace bowls, both included in the exhibition, A Legacy of Chenghua, Hong Kong, 1993, and illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 243, C77; and p. 245, C78. Both bowls are from the late Chenghua stratum, the first is decorated with a lotus scroll of large and small flowers growing from a single outlined stem, in a very similar style to the present stembowl; and the other bowl with lotus flowers joined to a stem depicted by double outlines.
Compare also the bowl with this design from the Alfred Clark Collection, illustrated by Messrs Spink & Son, Catalogue, 1974, no. 26; and the more stylised lotus flowers painted on a bowl from the Ardebil Shrine, illustrated by J. A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, pl. 64, no. 29.344.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong, 30th November 2011