Lot 3030. A blue and white ‘pheasant and peony’ octagonal box and cover, Jiajing six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1522-1566); 11 9/16 in. (29.5 cm.) wide. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,200,000. Price realised HKD 1,000,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2018
The top is painted with a pheasant standing on a rock surrounded by peonies while another stands below, with birds in flight and perched in the tree to the side and lingzhifungus in the foreground, and vignettes of birds and flowering or fruiting branches on each facet of the domed sides, which are repeated on the sides of the box, with lingzhisprays around the rims.
Provenance: A French private collection since the early 20th century
Sold at Christie’s Paris, 19 December 2012, lot 54
Note: The current box is accompanied by a label suggesting that it was previously exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Boxes in octagonal form with the Jiajing mark are quite rare. The ‘pheasant and peony’ design is one of the typical decorative patterns for Jiajing octagonal boxes. There are a few comparable examples, all bearing the Jiajing six-character mark. One is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is published in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 167; another, originally in the Eumorfopoulos Collection and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is illustrated in R.L. Hobson, Catalogue of the Chinese, Corean and Persian Pottery and Porcelain: The Ming Dynasty, London, vol. 4, 1927, plate III. D26; also one published in Abu Ridho, Oriental Ceramics: The World’s Great Collections, vol. 3, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 203 and that illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu: Ming, vol. 14, Tokyo, 1976, plates, 70-1, pp. 68-9; a further example is in the Nanjing Museum.
Box with Flowers and Birds, Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Jiajing mark and period (1522–66). Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware). H. 7 1/16 in. (17.9 cm); Diam. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm); H. (cover alone) 3 7/16 in. (8.7 cm). Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1965; 65.56.1a, b © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Box and lid, porcelain painted in underglaze cobalt blue, China (Jingdezhen), Ming dynasty, Jiajing mark and period (1522-1566). Diameter: 29.8 cm. Purchased with Art Fund support, the Vallentin Bequest, Sir Percival David and the Universities China Committee, C.813&A-1936. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2017.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 30 May 2018