Lot 1325. A blue and white beaker vase, Transitional period, Chongzhen period (1628-1644); 17½ in. (44.5 cm.) high. Estimate 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price realised 30,000 USD. © Christie's Image Ltd 2010
Finely painted on the neck with two plump quail standing on a rock amidst bamboo and chrysanthemums, with a pair of birds, a butterfly and insects in flight below the sun on the reverse, the center section with fu symbols alternating with quatrefoil cartouches of lotus, and the bottom section with pendent leaf tips, all within incised line borders.
Note: The combination of pairs of quail (an) and chrysanthemums (juhua) stand for anju leye ('May you dwell in peace and enjoy your career'). See T. T. Bartholomew, "A Few Interesting Botanical Themes", JICSBS, Spring 2004, p. 9. A very similar design of quail amidst rocks and chrysanthemums can be seen on a blue and white brush pot dated c. 1645-60, in the Mr. and Mrs. Anthony du Boulay Collection, illustrated by M. Butler et al., Treasures from an Unknown Reign, Shunzhi Porcelain, 1644-1661, Honolulu Academy of Art, 2002, p. 95, no. 5. See, also, the slightly smaller (43.1 cm.) blue and white vase of the same form with similar decoration on the lower half of the body, but painted on the neck with a cockerel standing on a rock flanked by magnolia and peony, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Qing Shunzi Kangxi Zhao Qinghua Ci, Beijing, 2005, no. 54.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 16 - 17 September 2010