01 décembre 2023

An exceptionally rare and superb Longquan celadon carved 'lotus' bowl, Yongle period

An exceptionally rare and superb Longquan celadon carved 'lotus' bowl, Yongle period

An exceptionally rare and superb Longquan celadon carved 'lotus' bowl, Yongle period

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Lot 118. An exceptionally rare and superb Longquan celadon carved 'lotus' bowl, Yongle period (1402-1425); 15.9cm diam. Sold for HK$829,500 (Est: $600 000 HKD - $800 000 HKD) © Bonhams 2001-2023

Finely potted with deep rounded sides supported on a short narrow foot, the exterior moulded with slender upright lotus petals radiating from a band of small circlets above the foot, all beneath an incised keyfret scroll around the rim, the interior with a stylised floret medallion, encircled by a band of interlinking foliate scrolls, all below a floral scroll at the rim, covered overall in a rich, lustrous sea-green glaze, fitted box. (2) 

Provenance: Acquired in the 1980s.

NoteAlthough applied in a celadon glaze, the present bowl bears a resemblance to the iconic lianzi bowl, which is very rare. It is interesting to note that the shape and carved decorations can be seen on blue and white wares made in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen during the Yongle period, see a Yongle bowl with lotus petals on the exterior illustrated by John A. Pope, Chinese Porcelain from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington D.C., 1956, pl. 47, no. 29.326. The similar interlocking floral pattern also appears on blue and white lotus bowl in the collection of Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong bowuyuan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue and white porcelain in the Palace Museum], vol. 1, Beijing, 2002, p. 122, pl. 62.

In 1393, Taizu, the first emperor of Ming, valued the Longquan kilns to the fullest and ordered that some imperials wares be produced there besides the traditional origin of Jingdezhen kilns. They both followed the same court-ordered patterns and specifications, while Jingdezhen wares showcased the design in red or blue underglaze, Longquan wares were carefully stamped, moulded, incised or carved in relief covered with a thick, lustrous celadon glaze, to achieve the same decorations with unparalleled craftsmanship. Even Jingdezhen kilns in the Ming and Qing dynasties strive to imitate the Longquan wares during that period. Compare a related Jingdezhen floral bowl dated mid-15th century, illustrated in Green-Longquan Celadon of the Ming Dynasty, National Palace Museum, Taipei, p. 286, pl. 164. in similar shape and glaze with incised floral pattern.

An identical bowl was included in the Exhibition of Yuan and Ming Ceramics, Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 164. A similar carved Longquan lotus bowl from the T.Y. Chao collection, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1987, lot 216; another example from the Karen Dean Bunting Trust was sold at Christie's London, 5 July 1983, lot 259.

Bonhams. SUBTLE BEAUTY THE AESTHETICS OF SONG DYNASTY, 29 November 2023, Hong Kong, Admiralty

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