Lot 3691. A Rare large blue and white ‘Lotus’ guan jar, Late Yuan- Early Ming Dynasty; 50.5 cm., 19 7/8 in. Estimate 5,000,000 — 7,000,000 HKD. Lot sold 6,040,000 HKD (615,987 EUR). Photo Sotheby’s
robustly potted in ovoid form with a short splayed neck set with a slightly everted rim flange, boldly painted in a dark, greyish cobalt blue with a broad stylised lotus scroll around the centre, with six large blooms alternating in full view and in profile among dense scrolling foliage and attendant buds, set between pendent and upright petal lappets draping the shoulder and skirting the waist, the shoulder lappets containing Buddhist and other auspicious emblems supported on lotus flowers, the lappets below with further emblems alternating with lotus sprays, all below a knobbed classic scroll collaring neck and a lingzhiscroll around the foot.
Provenance: Meiyintang collection.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 7th April 2011, lot 42.
Literature: Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 4, no. 1623.
Note: The style of this lotus scroll with its dense frilly petals and curling foliage, as well as the solid construction of the jar and the colour of the cobalt blue all suggest a date very late in the Yuan or early in the Ming dynasty, in the Hongwu period. Altogether, the painting style seems closer to Yuan dynasty prototypes than to the fully developed Hongwu designs, which tend to be more strictly composed and executed in a paler cobalt blue, and would seem to represent a different stage in the development of blue and white porcelain.
A companion piece to this highly unusual jar from the Au Bak Ling collection, sold in these rooms 3rd May 1994, lot 33, was included in the exhibition 100 Masterpieces of Imperial Chinese Ceramics from the Au Bakling Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1998.
Sotheby’s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 08 oct. 2014