18 mars 2019

A fine wucai ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ bowl, Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722)

A fine wucai ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ bowl, Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722)


Lot 531. A fine wucai ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ bowl, Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722). Diameter 5 1/8 in., 13 cm. Estimate: US$50,000 - US$70,0000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

the deep rounded sides rising from a short straight foot to a gently flaring rim, the exterior vividly decorated with a green and a red dragon, each striding in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl', separated by a pair of descending phoenix, all below a band of the 'Eight Buddhist Emblems' and ruyi heads at the rim, the interior with a medallion enclosing a red five-clawed dragon coveting a 'flaming pearl', the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle .

Provenance: New York Private Collection.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc., New York, 17th March 2016

Note: Bowls painted in brilliant wucai enamels with a dragon and phoenix among a leafy scroll were an innovation of the Kangxi period. This auspicious design, which refers to the Emperor and Empress and conveys the wish for a happy marriage, grew in popularity in the succeeding reigns, when large quantities of bowls of this type were produced.

Similar Kangxi mark and period bowls of three different sizes from the Nanjing Museum, were included in the exhibition Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Reigns, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995, cat. no. 26; a pair in the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 153; a single bowl from the collection of C.P. Lin was included in the exhibition Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration, Percival David Foundation, London, 1992, cat. no. 121; and a pair was included in the Hong Kong Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Ch’ing Polychrome Porcelain, Fung Ping Shan Museum, Hong Kong, 1977, cat. no. 32.

See also a pair of slightly larger bowls in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in the exhibition Kangxi. Empereur de Chine, Musée National du Château de Versailles, Versailles, 2004, cat. no. 59; and a slightly smaller bowl, also from the Qing Court Collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 135.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 20 march 2019

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