Lot 431. A small gilt-bronze cloisonné enamel 'lotus' dish, Ming dynasty, Xuande period (1426-1435); 12.4cm., 4 7/8 in. Estimate 20,000 — 30,000 GBP. Lot sold 22,500 GBP. © Sotheby's.

the slightly convex well brightly enamelled with an octafoil rosette of eight radiating teardrops within blue-edged white lappets ringed with yellow-centred bright green barbed lappets edged with red, encircled by six scrolling lotus in contrasting colours with red- and yellow-tipped feathery leaves, with a further register of lotus scroll at the low rounded sides, all on a turquoise ground leaving the reverse richly gilded and finely incised with a double vajra flanked by ribbons streaming towards a single line at the rim.

From Parbold Hall, The Home of Sir Peter Moores.

Provenance: Collection of The Hon. Christopher McLaren
Sotheby's London, 16th June 1999, lot 701.

Note: The present well preserved cloisonné enamel dish is striking for its colouration in all the major primary tones and the clear and regular layout of the design that is characteristic of the finest Xuande period wares. An early 15th century dish of larger proportions with related decoration and the back similarly incised with a double vajra, from the collection of Mrs. E. Clarke, was sold in these rooms, 29th October 1982, lot 14, and is now in the collection of Pierre Uldry. The Uldry piece was included in the exhibition Chinesisches Cloisonné. Die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 1985, cat. no. 14. 

A similar double vajra can be found on the base of an early 15th century small basin, also in the Uldry collection, ibid., cat. no. 16; and on two zun form vessels both with Jingtai reign marks;  one in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated in Chang Lin-sheng, 'Chin-T'ai is not a Myth. Ching-T'ai-lan: Early Ming Dynasty Cloisonné', National Palace Museum Bulletin, vol. XXIV, no. 3, July-August 1989, pp. 1-17, pl. 59, where on p. 3, a connection is suggested between the appearance of the vajra symbol and the Jingtai mark. The Jingtai emperor was known to have been a fervent supporter of Tibetan Buddhism. The other zun is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and is illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji, vol. 10, 1987, pl. 299, attributed to the Xuande period with a later incised  Jingtai mark. 

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, London, 7 November 2012