Lot 1363. A rare biscuit-decorated white-glazed 'dragon' bowl, Hongzhi six-character mark within a double-circle and of the period (1488-1505); 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) diam. Estimate 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price realised USD 80,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2010
The interior with a central roundel incised with a five-clawed dragon reserved in the biscuit, the exterior sides similarly decorated with two further dragons striding amidst incised crested waves above a band of jagged rocks.
Provenance: W.A. Evill Collection; Sotheby's, 30 November 1965, lot 27.
Note: The dragons on this rare bowl were incised onto the surface of the bowl. They were then covered with a resist before glazing and firing the bowl, leaving the dragons reserved in the biscuit against the smooth surrounding glaze, thereby creating a subtle contrast of texture and color.
A bowl of this rare type, with Hongzhi mark, and of the period, is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, vol. I, Geneva, 1999, p. 121, no. 68 (A146). Another, in the Idemitsu Museum, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, In Pursuit of the Dragon, Seattle Art Museum, 1988, p. 97, no. 35. In the catalogue, the bowl is illustrated across from a bowl decorated with similar dragons (no. 34), which were originally produced using the same resist and glazing technique, but were then covered with green glaze before the bowl was refired at a lower temperature.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 16 - 17 September 2010