A blue and white figure of Zhenwu, Ming dynasty, Wanli period (1573-1620)

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.

NoteFigures 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