Lot 3534. A parcel-gilt bronze incense box and cover, Ming dynasty, 17th century3 1/4 in. (8.2 cm.) diamEstimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 150,000Price Realized HKD 400,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2014

The box is of circular form with an incurving inner rim supporting the domed cover cast and gilt with a large lotus bloom, growing on a vine with smaller lotus flowers surrounding the rounded sides. Similarly decorated on the sides of the box, all reserved on a stamped fish-roe ground. The recessed base has a gilt four-character mark Zhu Zhengming Zhi within a rectangle, box.

Provenance: Christie's New York, 21 September 2000, lot 150
J.J. Lally, New York.

Note: The craftsman, previously unrecorded, evidently worked in Hu Wen Ming's workshop. It is difficult to be certain whether, as a master in his own right, he was able to use his own mark, or set up in competition after completely assimilating the Hu Wenming style without further documentary evidence. Compare with a Hu Wenming marked box of similar decoration, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 November 2011, lot 3176.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 May 2014