A large blue and white dish, Yongle period (1403-1425)


Lot 1044. A large blue and white dish, Yongle period (1403-1425); 15 7⁄8 in. (40.3 cm.) diamEstimate USD 200,000 – USD 300,000Price realised USD 756,000. © Christie's 2022

The central medallion is finely decorated with peonies, all borne on scrolling interlocking stems, beneath the cavetto which is decorated with twelve floral sprays. The everted rim is encircled by a band of wind-tossed waves, and the exterior has a further band of composite foliate scroll, all in bright, inky tones of underglaze blue enhanced by 'heaping and piling.'

Property from the Estate of Don B Lichty, Honolulu.

Provenance: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 12 May 1976, lot 94.
Dr. Ip Yee (1922-1984) Collection, Hong Kong.
Property of the Estate of Dr. Ip Yee; Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 November 1984, lot 181.
Christie's New York, 20 March 1997, lot 145.

NoteLarge, luxurious dishes of this type were very popular exports to India and the Middle East, as evinced by the large numbers of examples published in collections in Istanbul and Tehran, and the large number of copies made in earthenware. For examples of various designs found on these dishes see R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. 2, London, 1985, pp. 512-514, nos. 599-607 and J. A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, 1956, pl. 34, no. 29:88, for a dish of similar size and design to the present dish.

Yongle blue and white dishes of this type, however, were also traditionally prized by Chinese collectors. A dish of this design was excavated at Dongmentou, Zhushan, in 1994 and included in the Chang Foundation exhibition Imperial Hongwu and Yongle Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, Taipei, 1996, p. 153, no. 44. Other similar examples include one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in the Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Dynasty Porcelain, pl. 37; one exhibited at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, 1978, no. 5; one illustrated by J. Ayers in The Baur Collection, Geneva, 1969, vol. II, no. A140; and another included in An Exhibition of Blue-Decorated Porcelain of the Ming Dynasty, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1949, p. 36, no. 38 (lent by C.T. Loo). Comparable Yongle dishes sold at auction include one from the Henry M. Knight Collection sold at Bonhams Hong Kong, 4 June 2019, lot 27, and another sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 4 April 2012, lot 2152.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 25 march 2022