A rare aubergine-ground and yellow-enamelled ‘dragon’ bowl, Wanli six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1573-1619)

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Lot 2923. A rare aubergine-ground and yellow-enamelled ‘dragon’ bowl, Wanli six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1573-1619); 6 in. (15.1 cm.) diam. Estimate: HK$1,200,000.00 - HK$2,000,000.00 (USD 153,810 - USD 256,350). Price realised HKD 3,700,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2018.

The bowl is finely potted with deep rounded sides rising from a tall straight foot to a straight rim. The exterior is incised and enamelled with two scaly five-clawed yellow dragons in pursuit of a flaming pearl on aubergine ground. The interior is simply ornamented with a double ring in the centre. A keyfret band is inscribed on the foot, Japanese wood box.

LiteratureTokyo National Museum, Chinese Arts of the Ming and Ching Periods, Tokyo, 1963, pl. 367 (fig. 1)

ExhibitedTokyo National Museum, Chinese Arts of the Ming and Ching Periods, Tokyo, 14 September-13 October 1963.

Note: Compare the current bowl to a nearly identical example in the collection of the British Museum, which is illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pp. 330-1, pl. 11:143. Another example is held in the C.P. Lin collection, illustrated in Ming and Qing Chinese Arts, Hong Kong, 2014, p. 207, pl. 107.

Porcelain bowl with incised, overglaze yellow on an aubergine ground decoration, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period (1573-1619)

Porcelain bowl with incised, overglaze yellow on an aubergine ground decoration, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period (1573-1619); 15 cm diam, 1928,0718.5. © The Trustees of the British Museum

 Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 Nov 2018