A circular Blue and white 'hundred boys' box and cover, Mark and period of Wanli (1573-1620)

Lot 760. A circular Blue and white 'hundred boys' box and cover, Mark and period of Wanli (1573-1620); 8 7/8 in., 22.7 cm. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Lot sold 66,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

the domed cover painted in vibrant tones of underglaze-blue with an elderly man seated in front of a decorative screen raising a aloft an open book as if about to read to a group of small boys, while other boys scamper about the fenced garden pavilion flying a kite, acting or playing various games, all enclosed by a border of four striding dragons chasing ‘flaming pearls’ and a band of lingzhi sprays divided by 'precious objects', repeated around the exterior of the box, inscribed to the base with a six-character mark.

Exhibited: Washington and Lee University, Reeves Center, Lexington, Virginia, 1998 - 2006.

Note: Wanli boxes painted with the same scene are illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 11, 1982, no. 93, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Compare a box of the same decoration from the T.Y. Chao Collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms 19th May, 1987, lot 244 and later re-sold from the Jingguantang Collection, Christie's New York, 20th March 1997, lot 80. 

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