Lot 749. A large blue and white 'Peach Blossom Spring' brushpot, Transitional period, circa 1640. Height 8 in., 20.8 cm. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000 USD. Lot sold 100,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

of cylindrical section, painted with a continuous narrative depicting various scenes from Peach Blossom Spring; the fisherman alone in a sampan, encountering a sage in the mystical forest, and a boy sharing the news of the mysterious visitor, all within heavy scrolling clouds enveloping the mystical mountain and riverscape, the scene painted in rich shades of blue between multiple incised line borders.

Provenance: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 17th-18th May 1988, lot 157.

NotePeach Blossom Spring, a poem composed by Tao Yuanming (365-427 A.D.) during the chaotic time of the Northern and Southern Dynasties, recounts the fabulous tale of a fisherman accidentally entering a fragrant, beautiful land of blossoming peach trees. The inhabitants of the land are welcoming to the stranger and wish to hear about his life. They reveal to him that they are descendant from people who fled during difficult times in the Qin dynasty, never leaving their beautiful and harmonious secret world to reenter the chaos and hardship of society. Upon learning of current events they are shocked, having never heard of the subsequent Han, Wei, or Jin dynasties. The fisherman stays in the magical land for several days, and when departing is warned that there is no use in sharing his story with others. Indeed, despite desperate searching, no one ever recovers the way to 'Peach Blossom Spring'.

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