Lot 1326. A Ming-style blue and white 'garlic-head' moonflask, Qianlong period (1736-1795); 13¼ in. (33 cm.) high. Estimate USD 18,000 - USD 25,000. Price realised USD 43,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The flattened circular body is painted in fifteenth-century style on each convex side with a pomegranate tree, one tree laden with five ripe pomegranates, the other tree in flower, with a sprig of lingzhi at the base of each tree. The pomegranate trees are contained within narrow scroll borders repeated on the rectangular foot and waisted neck below flower sprigs on the 'garlic head'-shaped mouth. The neck is flanked by a pair of arched strap handles that terminate on the narrow sides above pendent lingzhi scrolls.
Provenance: Private American collection.
Note: The shape of the current moonflask is based on early Ming dynasty prototypes. For two fifteenth-century examples see the 'garlic-headed' moonflasks in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book II, Part 1, Hong Kong, 1963, pp. 38-41, pls. 9-10c. See, also, an eighteenth-century moonflask of the same shape, with pomegranates painted on one side and lychees on the other, sold at Christie's New York, 19 September 2007, lot 289.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 19 - 20 September 2013