Lot 1358. Two very rare famille verte yellow-ground lobed brush washers, Kangxi six-character marks in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1662-1722); 5½ in. (14 cm.) wide. Estimate USD 100,000 - USD 150,000. Price realised USD 195,750. © Christie’s Image Ltd 2013
Each is heavily potted and has rounded, flaring sides molded with ten lobes decorated in shades of green and aubergine reserved on an egg yolk-yellow ground with a different scene of figures and dwellings in a continuous river landscape on the exterior. The interior of one dish is decorated with a scene of groups of scholars gathered in a pavilion and on the banks of a river. The other dish is decorated on the interior with a solitary scholar seated in contemplation beneath the branches of a willow tree, and dipping his feet in the water as two mandarin ducks swim nearby. The flat base of each washer has a broad, unglazed ring surrounding a glaze, recessed roundel centered by the reign mark, cloth box.
Provenance: J.M. Hu Collection.
Note: This pair of washers belongs to a very rare group of finely potted, enameled and monochrome washers bearing Kangxi reign marks. A famille verte example, from the E.T. Chow Collection, decorated with a dragon and carp emerging from waves, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 11 April 2008, lot 3021, and another from the T.T. Tsui Collection, decorated with butterflies and blossoming branches, was sold at Christie's London, 16 November 1999, lot 217. A black-ground green-glazed example with a landscape scene, also from the J.M. Hu Collection, and later in the Greenwald Collection, was most recently sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 December 2010, lot 2814.
Lobed brush washers in different monochrome palettes include a clair-de-lune-glazed example illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 217; a celadon-glazed example included in the O.C.S. exhibition, The Chinese Scholar's Desk - 17th to 18th century, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1979, no. 28, subsequently sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20-21 May 1987, lot 112; and a gilt-decorated, celadon-glazed example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, decorated with a landscape scene, is illustrated in Qingdai Yuyao Ciqi, Vol. I, Part 1, Beijing, 2005, pp. 300-1, no. 110.
A Kangxi-marked famille verte-decorated washer, also from the J.M Hu Collection, decorated with carp emerging from waves, but with a circular rather than a lobed profile, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2005, lot 1374.
Christie’s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 19 - 20 September 2013