Lot 132. A green-enameled 'dragon' dish, Zhengde mark and period (1506-1521). Diameter 7 in., 17.8 cm. Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD. Lot sold: 47,880 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
with shallow rounded sides supported on a short slightly tapered foot, the interior decorated with a central medallion enclosing a five-clawed dragon writhing among stylized clouds, the head, scaly body and limbs finely incised, reserved on the biscuit and covered with green enamel, the claws and spikes picked out in green enamel over the glaze, all within a green circle repeated at the rim, the exterior similarly decorated with two five-clawed dragons striding above crested waves and rocks, the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle.
Provenance: Collection of Elsie Caroline Borden Hohlweg (b. 1910), and thence by descent.
Note: Closely related dishes include one in the British Museum, London, published in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pls 8: 33-35; one in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Lu Minghua, Shanghai Bowuguan zangpin yanjiu daxi/Studies of the Shanghai Museum Collections: A Series of Monographs. Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming imperial porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-44. See also a dish of this type, from the collections of R.H.R. Palmer and Edward T. Chow, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Polychrome Porcelain of the Ming and Manchu Dynasties, London, 1950, cat. no. 77, sold in our London rooms, 27th November 1962, lot 18, and in our Hong Kong rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 37; a second dish from the Edward T. Chow Collection sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 19th May 1981, lot 447.