A very rare large carved Longquan celadon dish, Yuan dynasty, early 14th century

Lot 1503. A very rare large carved Longquan celadon dish, Yuan dynasty, early 14th century; 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 800,000 - HKD 1,000,000. Price realised HKD 840,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2006

Strongly potted with deep, rounded sides rising to an everted lipped rim, freely carved on the interior with a flying crane with wings outspread and a leafy branch in its beak, the cavetto with a broad band of lotus scroll bearing flowerheads and buds below key-fret, the flattened rim applied with twenty-four florets in relief, covered entirely with a sea-green glaze pooling in the grooves of the decoration, except for an unglazed ring on the base burnt orange in the firing

Provenance: A Japanese private collection.

Exhibited: S. Marchant & Son, Recent Acquisitions, London, 2003, Catalogue no. 22 and front cover.

Note: Many Longquan celadon wares from the Yuan dynasty reflect the spirit of experimentation during this period. On the present dish, the florets on the rim are individually sprig-moulded and applied to the clay body of the dish before glazing. In some instances, the sprig-moulded elements were applied on top of the glaze before firing so that the individual appliqués biscuit-fired to an orange colour, contrasting with the green of the glaze.

No other dish of this design appears to be published. The closest comparison is a dish from the Topkapi Saray Museum, carved with twin-fish on the centre, lotus scrolls around the cavetto and decorated with biscuit florets on the flattened rim, illustrated by R. Krahl and J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Vol. I, no. 110 and on the cover. Cf. also the dragon dish, also from the Yuan dynasty, illustrated by R. E. Scott, Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, A Guide to the Collection, London, 1989, fig. 49.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 November 2006