A fine and rare blue and white 'Three Friends of Winter' jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368)

Lot 606. A fine and rare blue and white  'Three Friends of Winter' jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368); 6 3/4 in. (17.2 cm.) highEstimate HKD 250,000 - HKD 300,000. Price realised HKD 501,900© Christie's Image Ltd 2002

The jar is well painted with a central frieze depicting the 'Three Friends of Winter', prunus, bamboo and pine, between a lappet band above the foot and a chrysanthemum scroll around the shoulder, all covered in a blue-tinged glaze.

Note: This small jar is decorated with a relatively early depiction of the 'Three Friends of Winter', a subject-matter which was to become more widely used in the repertoire of early Ming-period ceramic decoration. For a comparison of the 'Three Friends' decoration on other Yuan blue and white vessels, see the baluster temple vase, previously from the Mrs Alfred Clark and Charles Russell Collections, sold in our New York Rooms, 21 September 2000, lot 298; a large jar illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, p. 230, no. 691; a tripod censer in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, Tokyo, 1981, vol. 13, p. 217, pl. 229; a more cursively drawn version on a small pear-shaped vase excavated at Boyangxian in 1976 and illustrated in Zhongguo Jiangxi sheng wenwu zhan, Exhibition of Cultural Relics from Jiangxi Province, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, 1988, p. 76, pl. 67; and a small meiping from the Collection of Lady David included in the exhibition Chinese Art Under the Mongols: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), Cleveland Museum of Art, 1968, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 137.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale, Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 29 April 2002