Lot 1650. A large and unusual Fahua vase, meiping, Ming dynasty, 15th-16th century; 18 in. (45.7 cm.) high. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 60,000. Price realised USD 68,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011
Robustly potted and relief-decorated with beaded chains suspending monster masks, lotus blossoms, tassels, and precious objects, all below a ruyi collar on the shoulder, and above a band of bosses and petal lappets, below rouleau, dots, ruyi, florets and bound-ruyi, around the shoulder, the relief decoration all highlighted in a turquoise glaze against a mottled dark blue ground, wood stand.
Provenance: J.P. Morgan Collection.
Estate of Martha Baird Rockefeller, 1971.
Estate of Laurence S. Rockefeller; Sotheby's, New York, 11 October 2005, lot 9.
Note: Fahua wares were popular during the middle Ming period, and manufactured in both northern and southern China. The term fahua means a design composed of lines. The glazes are poured inside the contours formed by the raised lines, which prevent the glazes from merging.
Fahua meiping, especially those of this unusually large size, appear to be quite rare, and no other vase of this size and shape, with this exact decoration appears to be recorded. However, smaller fahua meiping are known. See the much smaller (31 cm.) example formerly in the Eumorfopolous collection, illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall in Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, no 13:6, where it is dated to 1465-87. Note the ruyi-head lappets beneath the neck of the illustrated vase, variants of which also appear on the present vase and several jars illustrated ibid., no. 13:22-24. Of particular note are the 'jeweled' tassles seen on the jar in illustration 13:23, which is dated 1488-1566, and whose decoration perhaps bears the closest resemblance to that seen on the present vase.
Porcelain meiping with incised and 'fahua'-palette decoration, Ming dynasty, 1465-1487, Height: 31 cm, formerly in the Eumorfopolous collection, 1936,1012.105. © The Trustees of the British Museum
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 24 March 2011