A large blue and white dish, Ming dynasty, Yongle period (1403-1425)

Lot 751. A large blue and white dish, Ming dynasty, Yongle period  (1403-1425); 15 7/8 in., 40.5 cm. Estimate 200,000 — 250,000 USD. Lot sold 216,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

well potted with the flared rounded sides supported on a tapered foot, finely painted to the center in deep shaded tones of cobalt blue enhanced by slight 'heaping and piling' with four mallow blossoms borne on a slender scrolling stem issuing flowering buds and leaves, encircled around the cavetto with a composite floral scroll bearing various blossoms and their buds including lotus, lily, camellia, rose, peony and chrysanthemum, repeated around the exterior, all below a border of froth-capped waves to the rim, the base unglazed.

ProvenanceChristie's Hong Kong, 31st October 1994, lot 548. 
Christie's New York, 20th September 2005, lot 254.

Note: A similar dish from the T.Y. Chao Collection was sold in our Hong Kong Rooms, 18th November 1986, lot 35; and another on 23rd October 2005, lot 335.  A dish with similar pattern can also be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, which was illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and Its Impact on the Western World, University of Chicago, 1985, no. 22, where the author notes that dishes of this type were widely exported to the Near East and that their influence can be seen in Persia, Syria and Egypt.  See, for example, one illustrated in John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, 1956, pl. 34; and one inscribed in Farsi around the foot rim with name of the Emperor Shah Jehan and the date corresponding to 1632, illustrated in Peter Hardie, 'China's Ceramic Trade with India', T.O.C.S., 1983-4, vol. 48, p. 19, pl. 3.

Compare also a similar dish excavated at Dongmentou, Zhushan, in 1994, and illustrated in Imperial Hongwu and Yongle Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, 1996, cat.no. 44.  Other dishes of this type can be found in public and private collections such as one in the National Palace Museum collection, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Dynasty Porcelain, pl. 37; another illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva, 1969, vol. II, no. A140; another in Michael Sullivan, Chinese Ceramics, Bronzes and Jades in the Collection of Sir Alan and Lady Barlow, London, 1963, p. 131a; and one in Suzanne Valenstein, The Herzman Collection of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1992, no. 61.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, including Property from the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 19-20 march 2007