Lot 302. A rare wucai globular jar, Wanli six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1573-1619); 3 in. (7.6 cm.) high. Estimate USD 50,000 - USD 70,000. Price realised USD 60,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2007
The compressed body decorated with four dragon roundels, each five-clawed dragon shown writhing amidst clouds and iron-red flames and painted in either yellow, green, iron red or turquoise, the four separated by sprigs of lingzhi fungus between narrow borders of leaf tips, with a band of foliate scroll above the foot, pierced silver cover, wood box.
Provenance: Toguri Museum of Art, Japan; Sotheby's, London, 9 June 2004, lot 18
Note: wo other Wanli-marked wucai jars of this approximate size and shape, although with globular bodies that are not quite as compressed as the present jar, are illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum - Enamelled Ware of the Ming Dynasty (III), Hong Kong, 1966, pls. 3-3c and 4-4c. Each of these jars has a cover. The first jar is decorated with two dragons striding amidst lotus scroll above a band of classic scroll, while the second jar is decorated with peony plants alternating with peach trees, between petal-tip borders similar to those on the present jar.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 22 March 2007