Lot 709. A rare wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' dish, Wanli six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1573-1619); 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 25,000 - USD 35,000. Price realised USD 187,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.
The dish has rounded sides rising to an everted rim and is decorated with a confronted dragon and phoenix in the center of the interior, below alternating dragons and phoenixes in the cavetto. The exterior is decorated in underglaze blue with shaped panels, each enclosing bamboo, prunus and a pine tree, alternating with four flower heads reserved on a diaper ground.
Provenance: Bluett & Sons, London, no. 3163 (according to label).
Russell Tyson (1867-1963) Collection, Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago, accessioned in 1964.
Note: Dishes of this pattern and with the combination of enamel and underglaze-blue decoration are rare. An almost identical Wanli dish of the same size in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 38 - Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, Hong Kong, 1999, no. 50. Another nearly identical Wanli dish is illustrated in Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Chinese Ceramics, Tokyo, 1965, p. 130, no. 536.
For other related Wanli wucai ‘dragon and phoenix’ dishes, see Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Mayuyama & Co., Ltd., Tokyo, 1976, vol. 1, fig. 942; Christie’s New York, 19 March 2009, lot 720, and the dish from the Edward T. Chow collection sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 19 January 1981, lot 437