Lot 1. From the Private Collection of Joseph Lau. A rare small blue and white 'lotus' dish, Mark and period of Xuande (1426-1435); 15.3 cm. Lot sold: 3,024,000 HKD (Estimate: 1,500,000 - 2,000,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022.
with shallow rounded sides rising to a slightly everted rim, the interior painted with a central roundel enclosing a lotus spray, surrounded by a continuous lotus scroll encircling the cavetto similarly rendered on the exterior, the base inscribed with a six-character reign mark within a double circle.
Provenance: Christie's Hong Kong, 2nd October 1991, lot 743.
Note: Painted with stylised lotus blooms and curled leaves in vibrant cobalt blue, this charming dish belongs to a rare group of Xuande porcelain. The fancifully rendered lotus, similar to those seen on early Ming Buddhist sculptures, signifies untainted purity.
Although it is rare to find Xuande dishes of this design, there are a few comparable examples. A pair of dishes of the same form and design was formerly in the collections of George Eumorfopoulous and Mrs Alfred Clark, illustrated in Collection of Mrs. Alfred Clark, Spink & Son Ltd., London, 1974, cat. nos 20-21, one of which sold in our London rooms, 29th May 1940, lot 232, and again in these rooms, 29th October 2001, lot 532. A related dish in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 176; and another from the J.M. Hu Family Collection was sold in our New York rooms, 23rd September 1995, lot 419.
See a slightly larger dish of very similar form and painted decoration, also with a Xuande reign mark and of the period, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong bowuyuan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue and white porcelain in the Palace Museum], vol. 2, Beijing, 2002, pl. 129.
Sotheby's. Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau, Hong Kong, 29 April 2022