07 novembre 2020

A rare blue and white 'dragon' jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368)

A rare blue and white 'dragon' jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368)

Lot 28. A rare blue and white 'dragon' jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368); 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) highEstimate GBP 60,000 - GBP 80,000Price realised GBP 81,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

The exterior of the jar is painted in shades of cobalt blue to depict a band of two dragons amidst stylised clouds, below a peony scroll encircling the shoulder.

Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong before 1990.

Note: Blue and white jars decorated with dragons as the principle motif are rare to find. Two examples of large size are known: the first is in the Tokyo National Museum Collection, illustrated in The World's Great Collections, Oriental Ceramics, vol. 1, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1982, no. 18; and the second guan was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 31 October 2004, lot 12. A smaller jar (22 cm. high) with a diaper band around the mouth rim was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 April 1997, lot 686. A guan designed with a register of floral scrolls on the shoulder and lappets above the foot, is illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 142. Another dragon jar of a striding dragon above similar waves but with a band of miscellaneous treasures, anbaxian, motifs within lappets on the shoulder, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2 May 2000, lot 650. Other jars with dragons forming the major decorative band include the example excavated in 1966 from a hoard found at Huxi Dadui, Taoxi Town, Jintan County, Jiangsu province, included in the exhibition, Art of Yuan Blue-and-White Porcelain, Shanghai Museum, 2012, and illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 189, no. 63. It is interesting to note that the excavated example, now housed at the Zhenjian Museum, was discovered together with a group of silver including a dish inscribed with an Arabic inscription dating to the 1314, ibid., p. 188. Jars designed with dragons within a minor band at the shoulder include the example illustrated by J. Ayers (ed.), Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, London, 1986, vol II, p. 407, col. no. 586; and the jar designed with forward and backward-looking dragons, previously sold at Christie's Tokyo, 27 May 1969, lot 179, and later in the Ataka Collection, illustrated by T. Nakano, The Panoramic Views of Chinese Patterns, Japan, 1985, col. pl. 9.

Christie's. Important Chinese Art. London, 3 November 2020.

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