Lot 38. A fine and rare wucai brush handle, Ming dynasty, Wanli period (1573-1620); 18.5 cm., 7 1/4 in. Estimate 2,500,000 — 3,000,000. Lot Sold 5,420,000 HKD (310,922 USD). Photo Sotheby's.
the bulblous body with a long cylindrical handle surmounted with a pointed knop, the sides painted with two dragons, one blue and one red, both in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl' amidst scattered scrolling clouds above crashing waves and tall rocks on the rim, all below a band of underglaze-blue ruyi-heads and a row of scrolling clouds, the top painted with four floral sprays surrounding the knop further decorated with a single floret
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Carl Kempe (1884-1967).
Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1993.
Exhibited: Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, The British Museum, London, 1994.
Evolution to Perfection. Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection/Evolution vers la perfection. Céramiques de Chine de la Collection Meiyintang, Sporting d'Hiver, Monte Carlo, 1996, cat. no. 135.
Literature: Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, no. 852.
Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 2, no. 708.
Note: Wucai brush handles are extremely rare. A related piece of Wanli mark and period in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, is published in Minji meihin zuroku. Kaiseiyō, Ryukeiyō, Manrekiyō [Illustrated catalogue of important Ming porcelains. Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli wares], Tokyo, 1978, pl. 109; and two unmarked blue-and-white brush handles of similar shape and date are in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Lu Minghua, Shanghai Bowuguan zangpin yanjiu daxi/Studies of the Shanghai Museum Collections : A Series of Monographs. Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming imperial porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pls. 1-87 and 1-88.
Sotheby's. The Meiyintang Collection, Part II - An Important Selection of Chinese Porcelains, Hong Kong, 5 october 2011