Lot 2141. An underglaze blue and white-decorated celadon-ground brush pot, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) diam., 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 8,000 - USD 12,000. Price Realized USD 25,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2014.
The exterior is decorated in relief in underglaze blue and white on a soft celadon ground with five different representations of Kuixing, the demon manifestation of the god of Literature, shown running as he holds various objects including a brush, an ingot, a prunus branch and a vase containing a prunus spray. The rim and the interior are white.
Property from the Jacob and Mary Stein Collection.
Provenance: Chait Galleries, New York, May 1984.
Exhibited: Cincinnati, Ohio, The Taft Museum, Cincinnati Collects 5000 Years of Chinese Art, 28 February - 20 April 1997, no. 11.
Note: The god of Successful Examinations and Literature, Kuixing is generally depicted standing on a fish, tortoise or dragon, with one hand raised holding a pen and the other holding an ingot. In a reference to the two characters of his name, gui ('ghost'), and dou ('ladle' or 'dipper'), the god is represented as a demon or ghost.
Compare the similar brush pot, also dated Kangxi period, but with the addition of copper red in the decoration, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Seventeenth-Century Blue and White and Copper-Red and Their Predecessors, S. Marchant & Son, London, 1997, no. 55.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 20 - 21 March 2014