Lot 522. A blue and white figure of Zhenwu, Ming dynasty, Wanli period (1573-1620). Height 12 7/8 in., 32.7 cm. Estimate 15,000 — 25,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
seated on an integrally molded two-part seat with the feet shoulder-width apart and the hands resting on the knees, the face directed forward with a calm expression and framed by long locks, clad in a floral mantle draped over a long robe painted in underglaze blue with clouds at the shoulders and arms and centered with a roundel over the deity's rotund belly illustrating a dragon pursuing a 'flaming pearl', the motif repeated in a band spanning the lower section of the garment, the seat painted with a scene of flame scrolls amidst mountains, the base unglazed, an aperture to the base and to the back.
Note: Figures of deities gained popularity from the middle of the Ming dynasty, and images such as the present lot were probably made for domestic shrines. A related blue and white figure of a seated Daoist deity sold in these rooms, 17th-18th September 2013, lot 303; another sold at Christie's London, 15th June 1999, lot 62.
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 21 march 2018, 10:00 AM