Lot 814.  A rare white-glazed water pot, taibai zun, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722); 4 7/8 in. (12.1 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 80,000 - USD 120,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

The domed body incised with three foliated dragon roundels below the waisted neck.

Provenance: Cathay Gallery, Chicago, 16 November 1987.
The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, Chicago.

NoteWater pots of this form are known as taibai zun, after the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, who is often depicted leaning against a large wine jar of similar form. They are also known as jizhao zun because their shape resembles chicken coops that are woven with small openings at the top through which the chicks are fed.
A number of identical white-glazed water pots have been published. One from the Qing Court Collection, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum- 37 - Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 122, pl. 111. Another is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics: The Koger Collection, London, 1985, p. 167, pl. 139, where the glaze is described as 'moon-white' and the medallions are of "a dragon biting another creature, and a bat". Two further examples include one in the Chinese University of Hong Kong Museum, illustrated in their 1995 exhibition Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Reigns, Cat., no. 3; and one in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, illustrated in The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, 1985, pl. 28.
This distinctive vessel form is more commonly found covered in a peachbloom glaze; white-glazed examples such as the present water pot are considerably more rare. A Kangxi mark-and-period peachbloom-glazed water pot, formerly in the collections of Emily Trevor and John B. Trevor, Jr., was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 May 2014, lot 3301, and another, from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was sold at Christie's New York, 15 September 2016, lot 915.

Christie's. Sacred and Imperial: The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection Part I, New York, 24 September 2020