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Lot 91. A blue and white 'Jesuit' jar, Circa 1610-1630; 12.8cm (5in) high. Estimate £ 8,000 - 10,000 (€ 9,300 - 12,000). © Bonhams 2001-2019.

The vessel with five-lobed ovoid body rising from a domed foot to a short waisted neck and flared rim, applied at the shoulder with three cherub-head masks issuing from grapevines alternating with floral sprays, all above stylised lotus scrolls at the foot and below a floral band at the neck.

Note: Jars of such a shape as the present example were inspired by European metal prototypes. A similar blue and white jar, Ming dynasty, from the British Museum, London, is illustrated by J.Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics, London, 2001, pl.12:61. A related piece, 17th century, decorated with the emblems of Christ's Passion, Betrayal, Crucifixion and Descent from the Cross, in the collection of the Fundacao Medeiros e Almeida, Lisbon, is illustrated in Caminhos da Porcelana. Dinastias Ming e Qing, Lisbon, 1999, p.160, pl.14, where it is mentioned that this type of vessels was made on order for Portuguese Jesuits.

Porcelain jar with underglaze blue and applied decoration, Ming dynasty, circa 1610-1630; 12

Porcelain jar with underglaze blue and applied decoration, Ming dynasty, circa 1610-1630; 12.2 cm high, Franks.1397.a. © 2019 Trustees of the British Museum.

Two similar blue and white jars decorated with cherubs and grapevines, circa 1610-1630, were sold at Sotheby's London, 12 July 2006, lot 77 and 4 November 2009, lot 69.

A rare blue and white jar for the Portuguese market, circa 1610-30

A rare blue and white jar for the Portuguese market, circa 1610-1630; 13.2cm., 5 1/4 in. Sold for 73,250 GBP at Sotheby's London, 4 November 2009, lot 69. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Cf. my post: Important Ming blue and white porcelains sold @ Sotheby's London, 04 Nov 09

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, London, 16 May 2019