Lot 2942. A rare and large blue and white ‘boys’ bowl, Wanli six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1573-1620): 14 5⁄8 in. (37 cm.) diam., Japanese wood box. Price realised HKD 1,875,000 (Estimate HKD 1,200,000 - HKD 1,800,000).
The bowl is painted in bright blue of purplish tone with a continuous scene of sixteen boys at play in a garden with peonies and plantain trees emerging from ornamental rocks, all above a band of conjoined ruyi heads around the base. The centre of the interior is painted with a medallion depicting boys seated at a low table watching a spinning top within a fenced garden.
Provenance: Collection of Charles Russell (1866-1960) (by repute)
Sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 25 April 2004, lot 296.
Note: For other large Wanli-marked bowls of this design, compare an example (34 cm.) sold at Christie’s London, 25 May 1964, and illustrated by A. du Boulay, Christie’s Pictorial History of Chinese Ceramics, New Jersey, 1984, p. 136, no. 4, and another (35.8 cm diam.) sold at Christie’s New York, 16 September 1998, lot 59.
Compare also with an earlier Jiajing-marked bowl of this design from the British Rail Pension Fund, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 16 May 1989, lot 21, and at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 April 2003, lot 654; and three unmarked examples from the Chenghua period, one illustrated by Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 49, another in the Percival David Foundation, exhibited in Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration, Catalogue, 1992, p. 56, no. 47, and one from the Riesco Collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27 November 2013, lot 3113.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 3 december 2021