A very rare early Ming Longquan celadon globular 'chrysanthemum' vase, Ming dynasty, 14th-15th century

Lot 4240. A very rare early Ming Longquan celadon globular 'Chrysanthemum' vase, Ming dynasty, 14th-15th century, 14 in. (35.5 cm) high. Estimate HKD 600,000 - HKD 800,000Price realised HKD 860,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The sturdily potted globular body is deeply moulded and carved with four foliated chrysanthemum scrolls above a band of narrow upright petals, the ribbed neck with bands of incised chevron and ruyi pattern flared upwards to a rolled-top mouth decorated with applied bosses. The vase is covered overall with a thick glaze of greenish-olive tone thinning to reveal the pale body underneath on the extremities.

ProvenanceThis item was given by the chief priest at the Nishi Honganji temple as a new year's gift in December of 1877
A Japanese private collection
Sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 December 2008, lot 2539 

NoteLongquan vases of this form, undoubtedly inspired by contemporaneous metal ware, are exceptionally rare. The Palace Museum in Beijing has a very similar vase, illustrated in Ceramics Galleries of the Palace Museum, Part II, Beijing, 2008, p. 373, pl. 290. Another smaller vase without the moulded decoration is in the British Museum, illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall in Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p. 474, pl.16:33 where the author mentions the unusual roll-up mouth with bosses might have taken its inspiration from the Tibetan brass and copper ewers. Another example with a carved rather than moulded primary decorative band was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1472.

An important and extremely rare Longquan celadon pomegranate-form vase, shiliu zun, Yuan dynasty, 14th century

An important and extremely rare Longquan celadon pomegranate-form vase, shiliu zun, Yuan dynasty, 14th century, 14 1/4 in. (32 cm.) high. Sold for HKD 2,400,000 at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1472. © Christie's Images Ltd 2007

The application of sprig-moulded ornaments on Longquan celadons developed during the Yuan dyansty. This technique involved the manufacture of separate ornaments in open moulds and then applied to the clay body before glazing and firing. Incising and moulding in relief were the most common techniques used individually or in combination as seen on the present lot. 

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 30 May 2012, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall