Lot 1828. A small Ming-style blue and white moonflask, Qing dynasty, 18th century; 71/4 in. (18.2 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,000,000. Price Realized: HKD 967,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.
The moonflask with flattened circular body, rising to a cylindrical neck flanked by two bracket handles, decorated on one side with two magpies perched on a flowering prunus branch beside bamboo, the reverse similarly decorated with two finches on a flowering tree, a band of stylised tendrils above the foot and repeated on the shoulder, detailed with a bamboo sprig on the cylindrical neck, and the 'C'-shaped handles decorated with scrolls, the unglazed base slightly concave, box.
Provenance: The T. T. Tsui collection.
Literature: The Tsui Museum of Art: Chinese Ceramics IV, Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pl 62.
Note: It is rather unusual to find a flask of such small size. Larger flasks are known with similar decoration, these are modelled on early Ming prototypes. For larger flasks of related design compare the blue and white flask with a Yongzheng mark in the Palace Museum, Beijing illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, pl. 97. Another example decorated on yellow-enamelled ground, is illustrated by J. Ayers, The Baur Collection, 1969, vol. IV, no. A573.
Compare this example with the Ming dynasty prototype of early 15th century date decorated with a single bird perched on a branch on each side in the Percival David Foundation, illustrated by R. Scott, Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art: A Guide to the Collection, p. 73, no.61, where the author notes the derivation of this shape from Syrian glass.
Christie's. Hong Kong. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 27 May 2008