A very rare iron-red and gilt-decorated Kinrande double-gourd vase, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566)

Lot 1526. A very rare iron-red and gilt-decorated Kinrande double-gourd vase, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period (1522-1566); 7 1/2 in. (19 cm.) highEstimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000. Price realised HKD 156,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2006

The vase enamelled in a rich iron-red tone, finely painted in gilt on the upper pear-shaped section with an elaborate lotus scroll bearing three large blossoms, the elongated neck with upright leaves, the lower bulb of hexagonal form, gilded on each facet with a quadrelobed cartouche enclosing a lotus spray, divided on the waist with floral and foliate bands, boxes. 

Provenance: A Japanese collection

LiteratureChinese Pottery and Porcelain in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Clark, p. 31, fig. XXXIIIa (one of a pair).

Exhibited; Oriental Ceramic Society, Ming Blue and White, London, 1946, Catalogue no. 71 (one of a pair).

NotePolychrome wares embellished with gilt to resemble the appearance of rich brocade is known by its Japanese term, kinrande. Their combination of brilliant colours was derived from highly attuned visual enjoyment of painting, lacquer and silk. In the 16th century, items of this type were exported to Japan where they were highly valued, as the Japanese kilns did not start making porcelain until the early 17th century.

Two similar double-gourd kinrande vases, one on iron-red and the other on green, are in the Fukuyama Kinnenkan, illustrated by Yajima Ritsuko, Overglaze Enamel Ware in the Ming Dynasty, Japan, 1996, pl. 77; while a much larger hexagonal double-gourd vase (44.7 cm.) is in the British Museum, illustrated by J. Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2000, pl. 9:70.

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