A massive and extremely rare wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' hexagonal vase, Wanli six-character mark within a double rectangle in a line and of the period (1573-1619)

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Lot 3239. A massive and extremely rare wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' hexagonal vase, Wanli six-character mark within a double rectangle in a line and of the period (1573-1619); 33 1/4 in. (84.5 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 1,200,000 - HKD 1,800,000Price realised HKD 1,120,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2014  

The vase is sturdily potted with a fluted bulbous mid-section between hexagonal upper and lower sections. The mid-section is colourfully painted on the lobes with alternating dragons and phoenix. The upper-section is painted on each facet with an antique vase containing flowers; the lower-section on each facet with flowers arranged in a jardinière on a stand, zitan stand, Japanese wood box.

ProvenanceA Japanese family collection, Osaka, acquired between 1910-1930.

Note: Vases of this impressive height would have been very hard fire successfully, accounting for the very few related examples. The current vase is particularly notable for its sturdy potting and vibrant enamels, on which the dragons and pheonix are especially well drawn. A vase of the same shape and design, also bearing a Wanli mark in a double rectangle, but of about half the size (47 cm. high), is illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, no. 913 (fig. 1).  

A wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' hexagonal vase, Wanli mark in a double rectangle and of the period (1573-1619); 47 cm. high, illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, no. 913.

wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' hexagonal vase, Wanli mark in a double rectangle and of the period (1573-1619); 47 cm. high, illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, no. 913.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 26 November 2014, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall