A rare Ming green and yellow incised 'dragon and phoenix' bowl, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566)

Lot 1859. A rare Ming green and yellow incised 'dragon and phoenix' bowl, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566); 5 1/2 in. (14 cm.) diamEstimate: HKD 80,000 - HKD 120,000Price realised HKD 367,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.

Finely incised with a striding five-clawed dragon, a pair of phoenixes and a crane in flight amongst scrolling clouds between overlapping triangular petals as a border below and a classic scroll within single-line bands above, the interior with a stylised Shou character formed by a twisted lingzhi within a medallion, all picked out in green enamel on a golden-yellow ground, Japanese wood box. 

Provenance: Mayuyama.

Note: Jiajing bowls of this pattern with one dragon, one crane and a pair of phoenixes are extremely rare and only three other examples are recorded. A pair was sold at Christie's London, 10 June 1991, lot 119 and another from the George de Menasce collection was exhibited at the Marco Polo Seventh Centenary Exhibition, Venice, 1954, Catalogue no. 715.

Cf. related yellow and green Jiajing marked bowls such as the one decorated with a pair of dragons in the Mus/aee Guimet illustrated by Lion-Goldschmidt, La Porcelaine Ming, Fribourg, 1978, pl. 145; and the square bowls decorated with phoenixes and cranes such as the examples illustrated in Selected Masterpieces of Oriental Ceramics from the Matsuoka Museum of Art, Catalogue, Tokyo, 1984, col. pl. 67; cf. duBoulay, Christie's Pictorial History of Chinese Ceramics, London, 1984, p. 163, col. pl. 3; and another sold at Christie's London, 6 December 1993, lot 84.

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