Lot 3574. A blue and white ‘Eighteen luohan’ censer, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722). Estimate $50,000 – $70,000. Price Realized $118,750. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The well-potted cylindrical censer is raised on three narrow feet and is finely decorated on the exterior with a scene of the Eighteen Luohan in a rocky setting. The reign mark is inscribed in the recessed center of the base and is enclosed by a wide unglazed band. 7 3/8 in. (18.5 cm.) diam.
Provenance: Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York, 1983.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.
Notes: Luohan (also known as arhan or arhat) are Buddhist enlightened beings who act as worldly conduits to the state of infinitely expanded consciousness granted by their enlightenment. Numbers vary in Buddhist iconography, but eighteen was eventually established as the standard Chinese grouping which became popular in later-Chinese art, appearing in a wide variety of media. The present brush pot depicts the luohan in various small conversational groupings, painted in rich tones of underglaze blue. Please see the note to lot 3531 for a further discussion of this theme.
CHRISTIE’S. AN ERA OF INSPIRATION: 17TH-CENTURY CHINESE PORCELAINS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JULIA AND JOHN CURTIS, 16 March 2015,New York, Rockefeller Plaza