A miniature blue and white lobed 'floral' medicine dish, Mark and period of Jiajing

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Lot 3103. A miniature blue and white lobed 'floral' medicine dish, Mark and period of Jiajing (1522-1566), 5 cm, 2 in. Estimate 100,000 — 150,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's. 

delicately potted with shallow rounded sides rising from a short foot to a flared lobed rim, the sides gently detailed with incised swirls to simulate petals, the interior decorated in underglaze blue with a double-line medallion framing a central floral bloom wreathed by stylised foliage, all within a double-line undulating border at the rim, the exterior picked out with a frieze enclosing a composite floral scroll within double-line bands, the base with a six-character reign mark within a circle, the fitted brocade box with a title slip inscribed by contemporary ink artist Lian Liang

NoteElegantly modelled with fluidly incised petals, this charming dish appears to take the form of a mallow flower, a shape that was used at Jingdezhen since the early Ming period. While vessels of this form continued to be produced later in the dynasty, albeit in small numbers, those of such miniature size are very rare, and only one other dish of this form, but painted with dragons, appears to be known, sold in these rooms, 27th April 1993, lot 42.

For the prototype of this silhouette, see a Xuande mark and period dish of much larger size and covered in a celadon glaze, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition Ming Xuande ciqi tezhan mulu [Special exhibition of Xuande wares], Taipei, 1980, cat. no. 100.

Sotheby's. In His Majesty's Palm: Exquisite Porcelain Playthings, Hong Kong, 05 Apr 2017, 10:20 AM