A rare blue and white censer, Qing dynasty, Chongzhen period (1627-1644)

Lot 70. A rare blue and white censer, Qing dynasty, Chongzhen period (1627-1644); 22,5cm. 8 7/8 in. Estimate 6,000 — 9,000 GBP. Lot sold 14,400 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's 2007

the compressed globular body rising from a short spreading foot to a short waisted neck with everted rim, painted around the exterior with a broad band of mythical beasts amidst tumultuous foaming waves, all between key-fret and lotus scroll bands.

ProvenanceSotheby's Hong Kong, 28th April 1998, lot 774.

Note: The blue wave design on this incense burner is related to a dish in the Percival David Foundation, inscribed with a post-dynastic Ming date corresponding to 1644, included in the exhibition Chinese Ceramics of the Transitional Period1620-1683, China House Gallery, China Institute of America, New York, 1983, p.16, cat.no. 17.  

The white-against-blue design is reminiscent of Chongzhen period wares, for example, see a Chongzhen mark and period box and cover from the Edward T. Chow collection, sold in these rooms 25th November 1980, lot 22, and illustrated ibid.,p.13, cat.nos 14 and 15, together with three further pieces attributed to the same period cat.nos.26, 28 and 29.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, London, 16 May 2007