Lot 3041. A Blue and White ‘Dragons and Bajixiang’ Basin, Jiajing Period, 1522-1566. H 31.2cm. Estimate HKD 2,000,000 - 2,800,000 (USD 254,780 - 356,692). © Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited
This massive jardiniere is sturdily potted with deep walls flaring slightly towards the galleried rim. It is boldly painted in vibrant shades of deep violet-blue on the exterior with four frontal five-clawed dragons inside the panel amidst scrolling lotus. The panels are cornered with Daoist emblems like ingot, ruyi-head, coins, fish etc. The dragons are painted between two continuous bands of leafy scrolls and flowers. The neck is further inscribed with the reign mark of Jiajing period inside a rectangular box.
Provenance: 1. Japanese Tea Master, Kyoto, since Meiji Period
2. Masao Iketani Collection, Tokyo, since 1990's.
Exhibited and Literature: Tobi Art Fair 2015, Tokyo Bijutsu Club, October 2015, p.53.
Note: Similar late-Ming period blue and white dragon jardiniere could be found in Sotheby's New York, 13-14 September 2012, Lot 1422, belonged to Flora Whitney Miller.
Another Wanli period example with cranes and cloud pattern is illustrated in The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics 12: Ming Dynasty (Part 1), 2000, Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin Meishu, No. 201.
It is remarkable that frontal dragons painted on jardiniere are very rare. Only one example is found in Sotheby's London, 10 November 2010, Lot 27. The other two late-Ming period examples of frontal dragons were in shape of jar and box. See Christie's New York, 14 September 2017, Lot 737; and also the same room, Lot 736.
Poly Auction Hong Kong. Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 2 april 2019 3:00PM