A fine Ming-style blue and white cylindrical jar and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th century

Lot 2288. A fine Ming-style blue and white cylindrical jar and cover, Qing dynasty, 18th century; 11 1/4 in. (28.5 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 300,000 - HKD 500,000Price realised HKD 475,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The jar is well painted in the Ming-style to simulate 'heaping and piling'. The main register on the mid-body is decorated with five lotus blooms, each flower is encircled by its stem and set within a star-pattern formed by ten rhomboid petals, all against a complex geometric pattern-ground and bordered by breaking waves, between bands of scrolling lotus. The waisted neck is painted with further crested waves, supported on a low foot ring designed with half-flowerheads. The domed cover is similarly decorated and surmounted by a globular finial, box.

Note: The inspiration for this geometric pattern is an early Ming dynasty prototype. Two examples dated to the early fifteenth century have been published. The first is illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red, (I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, p. 45, no. 43; and the other in the Freer Gallery of Art is llustrated by J. Pope, 'An Early Porcelain in Muslim Style', Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst: Festchrift fur Ernst Kuhnel, pl. 6A. This design is also found on early Ming moonflasks such as the example in the Percival David Foundation, illustrated by J. Pope, op. cit., pl. 4B; and the flask from the Reach Family and Marie Therese Rodgrigues collections, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 April 1997, lot 657.

Jars of this type were often referred to in the West by the Spanish term 'albarello', which Pope noted as having originally derived from 11th century pottery apothecary jars that were used throughout the Near East, and introduced into the West by the Moors to Spain.

Christie's. Imperial Sale; Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall, 29 May 2013