A very rare wucai pierced rectangular 'dragon' box and cover, Wanli six-character mark within double-rectangles and of the period (1573-1620)

A very rare wucai pierced rectangular 'dragon' box and cover, Wanli six-character mark within double-rectangles and of the period (1573-1620)2

Lot 1857. A very rare wucai pierced rectangular 'dragon' box and cover, Wanli six-character mark within double-rectangles and of the period (1573-1620)12½ in. (31.8 cm.) longEstimate HKD 350,000 - HKD 450,000Price Realized: 1,027,500© Christie's Image Ltd 2008

Of rectangular form, the domed cover with a lobed diamond-shaped panel containing two five-clawed confronting dragons between a 'flaming pearl' amidst a composite floral-scroll ground, pierced with numerous small circular apertures, encircled by a band of pierced floral scrolls, the body similarly designed with confronting dragons striding in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl', supported on four bracket feet, the unglazed base centre with a glazed panel containing the underglaze-blue six-character mark within a double-rectangular frame, box.

ProvenanceA Japanese private collection, Kansai, acquired in the 1960's.

NoteNo other wucai rectangular pierced box of this decoration and size appears to be recorded. A box of very similar decoration and size but in blue and white is illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, vol. 1, p. 323, pl. 964; another close example of smaller size, the cover with floral decoration was sold at Christie's Los Angeles, 7 May 1999, lot 109.

Christie's. Hong Kong. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 27 May 2008