Lot 3695. A blue and white bamboo-shaped birdfeeder, Mark and period of Xuande (1426-1435); 9.8 cm., 3 3/4 in. Estimate 600,000 — 800,000 HKD. Lot Sold 1,060,000 HKD (108,104 EUR). Photo Sotheby’s
the Goddess finely modelled seated in 'royal ease' within a rocky alcove on a tiered rockwork throne, dressed in a flowing robe and adorned with elaborate beaded jewellery, her face with gentle smile beneath a high tiara, all framed within an arch applied with a freely modelled bird and the 'Vase of Immortality' perched on ledges amidst scrolling leafy vines and lotus, at the base stand two acolytes on rocky ledges above foaming waves, covered overall in a rich bluish-green glaze save for the faces, hands and some vessels reserved in the reddish-brown biscuit.
Provenance: Su Lin An collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 31st October 1995, lot 316.
Note: A closely related example, in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, is illustrated in Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming Imperial Porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-33. Two bamboo-shaped bird-feeders, one decorated with a flower scroll and the other, of slightly smaller size, with flower sprays, were recovered at the waste heaps of the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen and included in the Chang Foundation exhibition Xuande Imperial Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, Taipei, 1998, cat. nos 52-2 and 54-3 respectively.
Bird rearing was popular at the Ming court and bird feeders were modelled in a variety of imaginative forms, often inspired by nature; for example, see a pomegranate-shaped bird feeder also recovered at the imperial kiln sites in Jingdezhen and included in the Chang Foundation exhibition, ibid., cat. no. 54-1; and a double-gourd shape example in this sale, lot 3696.