Lot 2240. A blue and white 'dragon' vase, gu, Kangxi period (1662-1772); 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000. Price realised HKD 1,340,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2012
The vase is sturdily potted with a splayed foot rising steeply to a globular mid-section and under a wide trumpet-shaped mouth with an inturned mouth rim. The body is painted with ferocious writhing dragons in pursuit of 'flaming pearls'.
Provenance: Sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 26 October 2003, lot 147.
Note: It is very unusual to find dragon motifs on vases of this gu-shape as they are commonly painted with landscape or floral scenes. This type of lively upright dragon is comparable to meiping vases that have each been decorated with a single dragon: the first in the Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 23, no. 6; and the other from the J.M. Hu and Robert Chang collections was sold at Christie's Hong Kong Kong, 28 November 2006, lot 1317. Compare also to a Kangxi-marked baluster vase painted with two upright four-clawed dragons with similar fierce expressions as those on the current vase, in the Shanghai Museum Collection illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, no. 20.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 November 2012