A rare early Ming blue and white hexafoil bowl, Xuande six character mark within double circles and of the period (1426-1435)

Lot 1856. A rare early Ming blue and white hexafoil bowl, Xuande six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1426-1435), 8 7/8 in. (22.6 cm.) diam.Estimate HKD 3,500,000 - HKD 4,500,000. Price Realized HKD 9,020,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2010

The interior of the shallow widely-flaring conical bowl painted in rich blue tones with a medallion enclosing a fruiting and flowering peach below individual sprays of lotus, camellia, chrysanthemum and other flowers around the lobed rim, the exterior with fruiting sprays of grapes, pomegranate, longyan, peach, persimmon and lychee above individual floral sprays and a classic scroll around the foot, the cobalt with areas of 'heaping and piling', Japanese wood box.

Provenance: The Manno Museum, Osaka, Japan
Previously sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 24 April 2004, lot 952 

LiteratureSelected Masterpieces of the Manno Collection, The Manno Art Museum, 1988, fig. 113

NoteA small number of similar examples from important public collections are published, including one in the Palace Museum collection, Beijing, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, p. 159, no. 151; one from the Percival David Foundation, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, Kodansha Series, vol. 6, pl. 88; one in the Freer Gallery of Art, included in op. cit., vol. 9, pl. 102; one in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics, A New Comprehensive Survey, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1996, fig. 403; one in the Shanghai Museum of Art, illustrated in Shanghai Bowuguan, pl. 105; and another included in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Minji Meihin Zoroku (vol. I), 1977, pl. 65.

Two other bowls from private collections were exhibited in the Marco Polo Seventh Centenary Exhibition, Venice, 1954, illustrated in the Catalogue, one from the Woodthrope Collection, no. 642, the other from the Garner Collection, no. 643; an example from the Woodthrope and Mayer Collections was included in the O.C.S. Exhibition of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, London, 1954, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 76; another is published in the Asia Society Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, pl. 73; a last example from the Ataka Collection was included in the Oriental Ceramic Exhibition, 1979, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 102.

Compare also with three bowls of this pattern sold at auction: the first from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. R.H.R. Palmer and the Jingguangtang collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 17 January 1989, lot 567 and 3 November 1996, lot 546; from the Ira and Nancy Koger collection, sold Sotheby's New York, 27 November 1990, lot 6; and the bowl from the Su Lin An collection sold Sotheby's Hong Kong, 10 October 1995, lot 315.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 31 May 2010, Hong Kong