Lot 3581. A Rare Blue And White ‘Rosette’ Moonflask, Yongle Period (1403-1424). H 33.5cm. Sold for HKD 8,160,000/USD 1,046,154 (Estimate HKD 5,200,000 - 6,800,000/USD 666,667 - 871,795). © Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited
The flask is modelled after a Middle Eastern metal prototype and is elegantly potted with a flattened spherical body with two domed sections. Each side is centred with a yin-yang medallion radiating an eight-pointed starburst. The foliate points are interspersed between palmette or ornaments, all within a formal ‘half-cash’ diaper border around the edge. The body of the flask is surmounted by a waisted neck and a small bulb-shaped mouth, collared by a foliate scroll band of aster and carnation, flanked by a pair of gracefully arched handles with terminals similarly adorned with floral sprays. The cobalt blue shows a brilliant tone with characteristic ‘heaping and piling’ effect.
Provenance: 1. Collection of Enrico Maestrini
2. Eskenazi Ltd, London
3. The Meiyintang Collection.
Literature: 1. Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4(1), London, 1994-2010, p.99, no.1644
2. Eskenazi, A Dealer’s Hand: The Chinese Art World Through the Eyes of Giuseppe Eskenazi, London, 2012, p.312, pl.336.
Note: This flask represents one of the archetypal wares created at the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen during the early Ming dynasty, a design that appears to have been equally popular with the Chinese rulers as with foreign royalty. It belongs to a group of vessels which derived their inspiration from Persian prototypes and represented a new stylistic avenue for Chinese porcelain. The angular bulb and short oval foot are characteristic of Yongle flasks of this large size.
Closely related examples include one in the collection of the Ottoman sultans in Turkey, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol. 2, pl. 616; one from the Qing court collection, preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and included in the Museum’s EXHIBITION Pleasingly Pure and Lustrous. Porcelains from the Yongle Reign (1403-1424) of the Ming Dynasty, 2017, pp. 140-141.
Poly Auction. A Romance Among Blooming Roses: The Meiyintang Collection of Three Dynasties Imperial Ceramics, Hong Kong, 2 December 2021