a_rare_yellow-ground_turquoise_and_aubergine-glazed_dragon_dish_wanli_d5430762g

Lot 242. A rare yellow-ground turquoise and aubergine-glazed 'dragon' dish, Wanli six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1573-1619), 11 in. (28 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 40,000 - GBP 50,000Price realised GBP 55,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011

Decorated on the biscuit in turquoise, green and aubergine, with two confronted five-clawed scaly dragons with heads turned towards the rear divided by a band of clouds, above foaming waves crashing against rockwork, the cavetto with a band of six dragon roundels alternately ascending and descending, the exterior with sprays of peach, pomegranate, prunus and peony, all on a mustard-yellow ground.

 

ProvenanceT.T. Tsui Collection, no. TS 1. 

NoteA dish of similar size and design in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum - Enamelled Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book III, Cafa Company, Hong Kong, 1966, pp. 64-5, pls. 19a-b. For further examples of dishes with similar colour palette and decorated with dragons, see Ding Xujun, Ming qing you shang cai hui ci qi, Shanghai, 2004, no. 88., and another in the National Museum in China illustrated in Shanhai guji chu ban she, Studies of the Collections of the National Museum of China, Shanghai, 2007, no.103. Compare with another dish of the same design in the Percival David Foundation Collection, illustrated in Masterpieces of Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Collection, Yomiuri Shimbun, Osaka, 1998, p. 95, no. 64. Another illustrated example of the same design can also be found in Pan Jialai, Zhongguo chuan tong ci qi, Beijing, 2006, p.57. See also the single dish sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 1 December 2010, lot 3120; and the pair of dishes sold in these rooms, 11 June 1990, lot 199.

Dish with dragons, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620

Dish with dragons, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Porcelain with on-the-biscuit green, yellow, aubergine and black enamels. Height: 49 millimetres; Diameter: 273 millimetres. Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, PDF.790 © Trustees of the British Museum

The same distinctive palette can be seen on a Wanli-marked 'dragon' jar sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 26 April 2004, lot 1000; and also on an altar set in the British Museum illustrated by Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p. 341, nos. 11:170, 11:171 and 11:172.

Altar set, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620

Altar set, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, AD 1573–1620, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Porcelain with on-the-biscuit green, yellow, aubergine and black enamels. British Museum, 1930,1017.1, 1930,1017.2, 1930,1017.3 © Trustees of the British Museum

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 10 May 2011, London