Lot 3301. A peachbloom-glazed waterpot, taibai zun, Kangxi six-character mark and of the period (1662-1722); 5 in. (12.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 1,200,000 - HKD 1,800,000. Price Realized HKD 1,720,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2014.
The 'beehive'-shaped vessel is well potted with a short waisted neck and a flat countersunk base. The exterior is lightly incised with three dragon roundels, and glazed in rich raspberry tones thinning to paler pink around the lower body and to a band of pale mushroom around the neck, the base and interior is glazed with a transparent glaze., Japanese wood box.
Provenance: See, J. Ayers, 'The Peachbloom Wares of the Kangxi Period (1662-1722), Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 64, 1999-2000, p. 49.
Emily Trevor Collection, New York
Estate of John B Trevor, Jr., sold at Christie's New York 19 September 2007, lot 342.
Note: Waterpots of this form are known as taibai zun, after the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, who is often depicted leaning against a large wine jar of similar form. They are also known as jizhao zun because their shape resembles that of a chicken coop. Such waterpots belong to the group of eight peachbloom wares for the scholar's desk, the 'Eight Great Numbers', ba da ma, of which a set is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989 (rev. ed.), p. 237. Another complete set of eight from the Jingguantang Collection was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3 November 1996, lot 557. This group was previously thought to compise a total of eight differing shapes. John Ayers identified a possible ninth form of the Ba Da Ma by pointing out the existence of two slightly different globular water pots. See, J. Ayers, 'The 'Peachbloom Wares of the Kangxi Period (1662-1722), Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 64, 1999-2000, p.49.
Similar waterpots can be found in many important museum collections including: the Palace Museum, Beijing; the Percival David Foundation, London, housed at the British Museum; and one was included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition, Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1978, no. 52.
Christie's. The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 May 2014