Lot 136. A rare iron-red arabic-inscribed dish, Zhengde mark and period (1506-1521); 20.7 cm, 8 1/8 in. Estimate 30,000 — 50,000 GBP. Lot Sold 47,500 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's 2018.
the shallow rounded sides supported on a tapered foot, covered overall in a pale bluish-white glaze, decorated in iron-red in the centre with an Arabic inscription contained within a medallion, enclosed by four further phrases, the exterior with a continuous inscription and further double-line borders, Da Ming Zhengde nian zhi transcribed phonetically into Arabic script, in iron-red within two double circles.
Note: This well-potted dish belongs to a small group of porcelain wares that incorporates both Arabic and Persian inscriptions in its designs in keeping with the emperor’s religious leanings. The inscription in the central roundel may transcribed as 'Allah provides for whom He wills without account' within 'Praise be to you, exalted and mighty'. The four inscriptions on the exterior are comprised of the phrase, 'the Mighty God, the Most Great told the truth', written twice in Arabic and twice in Persian.
A closely related example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Enamelled Ware of the Ming Dynasty. II. Hong Kong, 1966, pl. 7; another dish in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, is published in The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics. Vol 13. Ming. (part 2). Shanghai, 1999, pl. 146; and a third, from the collection of the British Rail Pension Fund, was sold in these rooms, 2nd December 1974, lot 289, again in our Hong Kong rooms, 16th May 1989, lot 23, and a third time at Christie’s New York, 21st March 2002, lot 170.