31 août 2019

A fine and rare blue and yellow saucer-dish, Encircled Zhengde four-character mark and of the period (1506-1521)

1998_CKS_06046_0097A_000()

Lot 97. A fine and rare blue and yellow saucer-dish, Encircled Zhengde four-character mark and of the period  (1506-1521); 7 in. (20 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 15,000 - GBP 20,000. Price realised GBP 25,300© Christie’s Images Limited 1998.

Boldly painted to the centre with a gardenia branch bearing two blossoms and a bud, within a double circle in the well and below the rim, the rounded well with four evenly spaced pomegranate, grapevine, peach and lotus sprays, the exterior with a continuous flower scroll with five large blooms within double bands below the rim and around the tapering foot, all reserved on a rich and glossy yellow ground, the interior with surface wear and small glaze flake.

Note: For similar examples and a discussion of this group of wares, see the notes by Mary Ann Rogers, where the author discusses the origins of this distinctive type of decoration in the Xuande period and its developments in the 15th and early 16th Centuries, In Pursuit of the Dragon, Traditions and Transitions in Ming Ceramics, An Exhibition from the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Seattle Art Museum, 1988, Catalogue, p.98. The Idemitsu Museum owns examples from each of the five reign eras during which the type was produced. Apart from minor differences in the treatment of the flowers and choice of fruit, the group is largely consistent.

Often called hibiscus, the flower in the centre of the present example is now identified as a gardenia. See the article by Regina Krahl, Plant Motifs on Chinese Porcelain, Example from the Topkapi Saray Identified through the Bencao Gangmu, Part.1, Orientations, May 1987, pp.52-65.

Further examples can be found in many of the world's greatest museums and collections. See J. Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tokyo, 1980, pl.153; J. Ayers, op.cit, vol.II, Geneva, 1969, Catalogue, no.A144; in an Exhibition of Ceramics from the Collection of the Shanghai Museum, Seibu Art Museum, Japan, 1984, Catalogue, p.110, no.80; The 15th Anniversary, Catalogue, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, 1981, no.796; Blue and White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book IV, National Palace Museum, Taibei, 1963, Catalogue, pp.40-41, pls.11, 11a, and 11b; Yutaka Mino and James Robinson, Beauty and Tranquility - The Eli Lilly Collection of Chinese Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1983, Catalogue, pp.246-247, pl.97; Margaret Medley, The Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, Ming Polychrome Wares, London, 1978, Catalogue, pl.III, no.26. 

Christie'sMING - THE AGE OF REFINEMENT. London, 16 November 1998


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