A rare slip-decorated brown-glazed pear-shaped vase, Wanli period (1573-1619) 

Lot 281. A rare slip-decorated brown-glazed pear-shaped vase, Wanli period (1573-1619); 10½ in. (26.7 cm.) high. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000Price realised USD 3,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2007  

The bulbous body tapering towards the garlic neck and decorated on each side in thickly applied white slip with stylized prunus trees and bamboo, all reserved on a ground of toffee-brown color, Japanese wood box.  

Provenance: Japanese private collection. 

NoteTwo similar bottles in The British Museum are illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics, London, 2001, pp. 347-8, nos. 11:188 and 11:189, where the author notes that this combination of toffee-brown ground with contrasting white decoration was first introduced in the Wanli period. She goes on to note that shards of brown-glazed vessels with white decoration dating to the late Ming era have been excavated at Zhushan in Jingdezhen. A bottle of this type was among Queen Mary II of England's porcelain collection and is documented in an inventory of 1696-7.       

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics, Jades and Works of Art, 19 September 2007, New York