Lot 681. An incised white-glazed 'dragon' jar, Jiajing mark and period (1522-1566). Height 4 in., 10.2 cm. Estimate 8,000 — 12,000 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the ovoid body with rounded broad shoulders tapering to a recessed base, incised with a collar of ruyi around the short neck, a pair of sinuous dragons writhing amidst clouds and flames, a row of lappets at the foot, covered overall in a milky-white glaze, the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle, wood stand and box (6).
Provenance: Collection of María Marcela Roca Funes, Baronesa de Marchi della Costa (1877-1981), acquired as a gift from a minister of China in Japan, 1910 (by repute).
Note: A similar jar was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1987, lot 434, and another, also in our Hong Kong rooms, 15th November 1988, lot 155. A Jiajing mark and period jar with similar carving but under a blue glaze was included in the exhibition Ming Porcelain, China Institute in America, New York, 1970, cat. no. 51. Compare a Jiajing mark and period jar from the Huaihaitang Collection with white glaze and incised decoration similar to that of the present example except with phoenixes instead of dragons, illustrated in Enlightening Elegance: Imperial Porcelain of the mid to late Ming, the Huahaitang Collection, The Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2013, cat. no. 15. Consider an earlier prototype, a white-glazed jar incised with dragons amongst clouds from the Yongle period, excavated at Jingdezhen and illustrated in Yuan and Ming Imperial Porcelains Unearthed from Jingdezhen, Yan-Huang Art Museum, Beijing, 1999, cat. no. 95.