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Lot 146. An unusual doucai ovoid jar, 18th century; 12 in. (19 cm.) highEstimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000Price Realised USD 15,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2021.

One side is decorated with a scene of a scholar seated at a table set with a scroll box, a vase holding a prunus branch, a piece of paper and a candle, its flame blowing sideways as the inspiration he has been hoping for appears in the form of Kuixing, the demon manifestation of the god of Literature, seen approaching in a cloud to one side. The reverse is decorated with a chrysanthemum stem bearing three blossoms.

NoteKuixing, the God of Successful Examinations and Literature, is often represented as a demon or ghost, in reference to the radicals that combine to form the the first character of his name: gui ('ghost'), and dou ('ladle' or 'dipper').

Provenance: Christie's New York, 19 September 2007, lot 285.

Christie's. Art of China. Including Property from the Irving Collection, 18 Nov - 9 Dec 2020