A large and very rare blue and white 'phoenix' fish bow, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566)

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Lot 2990. A large and very rare blue and white 'phoenix' fish bow, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566). Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000 (USD 52,000 - USD 77,000). Price Realised HKD 500,000 (USD 64,488). © Christie's Images Ltd 2011

The heavily potted body of slightly tapering form, decorated to the exterior in purplish tones of cobalt blue with a pair of phoenix in flight among lotus blooms borne on scrolling stems, between pendent and upright lotus panels enclosing pendent discs and ruyi-shaped clouds below a band of classic scroll at the rim - 15 1/8 in. (38.5 cm.) diam., box.  

ProvenanceA Japanese private collection acquired at the beginning of the 20th century

NoteThe unusual border of pendent discs framing the main decorative band appears to be very rare. A similarly-proportioned jar decorated with the same minor bands but with dragons, rather than phoenix in the Topkapi Palace Museum is illustrated by T. Misugi in Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East, Topkapi and Ardebil, Volume Two, p. 128, no. T59; and another similar 'dragon' jar was sold at Christie's London, 10 December 1990, lot 160A.

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