A fine and rare Ming blue and white 'dragon' dish, Zhengde four-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1506-1521)

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Lot 2979. A fine and rare Ming blue and white 'dragon' dish, Zhengde four-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1506-1521)Estimate HKD 2,200,000 - HKD 2,800,000 (USD 290,000 - USD 360,000)Price Realised HKD 2,900,000 (USD 374,030). © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.

Finely potted with rounded sides and painted in vibrant inky-blue tones in the centre with a sinuous five-clawed dragon amidst a dense lotus meander, surrounded by two further dragons striding around the cavetto, repeated around the exterior above a ruyi band encircling the slightly tapered foot, all within double-line borders - 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm.) diam.  

ProvenancePreviously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28 October 1992, lot 41 and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 December 2008, lot 2542  

NotesBoth four and six-character marks were used on Imperial Zhengde porcelains, but it is not clear what the difference between the two types was. Examples similar to the present dish were invariably inscribed with four-character reign marks. Its imperial provenance is further substantiated by the inclusion of a dish of this design on the sixth scroll of the Imperial collection of Yongzheng, the Guwan Tu, Scroll of Antiquities, dated to the sixth year of his reign (1728), and now housed in the British Museum.

A Zhengde dish of similar design but slightly smaller in size in the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (II), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, p. 68, pl. 63. Another similar Zhengde-marked dish is in the Shanghai Museum, published in Wang Qingzheng, Underglaze Blue and Red, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 116

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong, 30th November 2011