A doucai 'floral' bowl, Mark and period of Wanli (1573-1620)

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Lot 3635. A doucai 'floral' bowl, Mark and period of Wanli (1573-1620); 17 cm, Japanese wood boxLot sold 1,008,000 HKD (Estimate : 250,000 - 350,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: A Japanese private collection.

Note: Elegantly painted with a rhythmic floral scroll, the design of this bowl represents a development of Chenghua (1465-87) prototypes. The Wanli Emperor (r. 1573-1620) is known to have been passionately fond of Chenghua doucai wares, thus their value and appreciation grew under his reign. For a possible inspiration of this design, see a zhadou decorated with similar flowers with long stamens painted in underglaze blue, in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., included in the Museum’s exhibition Ming Porcelain in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1953, cat. no. 23.

Bowls of this type are very rare; a closely related example, from the collections of H.M. Knight and T.Y. Chao, included in the Exhibition of Ming and Ch’ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1978, cat. no. 40, was sold three times in our London rooms, 1970, 1976, and most recently, 13th November 2002, lot 113. Another from the Pilkington Collection was sold in these rooms, 5th April 2016, lot 48. A similar design is also found on a blue-and-white dish with a Wanli mark and of the period, from the Raymond F.A. Riesco collection, illustrated in Edgar E. Bluett, The Riesco Collection of Old Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1951, pl. 52; and on an unmarked zhadou painted in doucai enamels, sold at Christie’s London, 10th December 1990, lot 151, attributed to the Zhengde reign (1506-21).

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art including Jades from the De An Tang Collection and Gardens of Pleasure – Erotic Art from the Bertholet Collection, Hong Kong, 29 April 2022