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Lot 195. A set of five mother-of-pearl-inlaid black lacquer circular dishes, Late Ming dynasty, 16th-17th Century; 5 3/8in (13.7cm) diameter, boxEstimate US$ 2,000 - US$ 3,000. Sold for US$ 1,275 (€ 1,088)© Bonhams 2001-2021

Decorated with figural garden scenes at the center below plain cavetto's, the reverse sides with red-lacquered basket-weave design, the bases painted in black lacquer, the scenes include the first Tang emperor, Gaozu, shooting arrows at a peacock screen; two farmers reading during a break in harvesting faggots; scholars watching a flying phoenix; scholars at a ferry; and scholars playing chess.

Property from the Robert and Mee-Din Moore Collection.

NoteThe scene on one of our dishes, can be identified from the Biography of Empress and Royal Concubines of the T'ang Dynasty as representing a competition for the hand in marriage of the Princess Dou. Li Yuan, who later became the founder of the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Gaozu, succeeded in shooting two arrows, each of which penetrated an eye of a peacock painted by the princess, thus winning the competition. See also a box and cover painted with this scene from the British Museum illustrated by Sir. Harry Garner, Chinese Lacquer, London, 1979, pp. 272-273, no. 199 and which bears the seal of the artist Chin Ch'en-shan and a date 1600..

Bonhams. Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Paintings, New York, 20 Sep 2021