Lot 3488. A peachbloom-glazed brush washer, tangluo xi, Kangxi six-character mark and of the period (1662-1722); 4 7/8 in. (11.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 700,000 - HKD 900,000. Price Realized HKD 1,360,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The compressed globular body is covered on the exterior with a glaze of crushed strawberry-red and mottled greyish-green colour. The interior and base are white. The base is inscribed with the reign mark in underglaze blue, box.
Provenance: Mrs. Enid Lodge and Brodie Lodge, sold at Sotheby's, London, 10 December 1968, lot 127
Sold at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 18-19 May 1982, lot 264
Sold at Christie's New York, 16 September 2010, lot 1403.
Exhibited: Monochrome Porcelain of the Ming and Manchu Dynasties, Oriental Ceramic Society, October 1948, no. 77
The Chinese Scholar's Desk, 17th to 18th Century, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1979, no. 24.
Note: This type of brush washer is described as being of gong shape, or tangluo xi, as it has a very compressed body. It belongs to a group of vessels referred to as the Badama, 'Eight Great Numbers'. This group was previously thought to comprise a total of eight differing shapes. John Ayers identified a possible ninth form of the Badama by pointing out the existence of two slightly different globular water pots. The first is termed as a pingguo zun, 'apple jar' modelled with a gently inward curving mouth rim; and the other with a raised, low, neck (similar to a stalk) that maybe referred to as a Shi liu, or 'Pomegranate jar'. See, J. Ayers, 'The 'Peachbloom Wares of the Kangxi Period (1662-1722), Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 64, 1999-2000, p. 49.
Many of the world's great museums have published similar examples of brush washers, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Palace Museum, Beijing and the Sir Percival David Collection at the British Museum, London. The brush washer in the Metropolitan Museum is illustrated with a group of peachbloom-glazed vessels made for the scholar's table, including a beehive water pot, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., p. 237, no. 236. Compare with examples of Kangxi-marked brush washers of this type sold at Christie's New York, 15 September 2009, lot 445, and from the Y.C. Chen Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2013, lot 1905.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (Including The Su Zhu An Collection of Inkstones), Hong Kong, 27 November 2013