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A cinnabar lacquer chrysanthemum tray. Late Yuan / early Ming dynasty

of shallow circular form, the interior deeply carved through to the brown ground with three large naturalistic chrysanthemum blooms with multiple attendant buds borne on a leafy scroll, the exterior carved with a wide band of classic scroll cut through to reveal several layers of black. 17.5 cm., 6 7/8 in.. Estimate 120,000—150,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: A Japanese Collection, by repute.

NOTE: There are several characteristics that help date this dish to the 14th century, which include the exterior classic scroll having a thin line of dark lacquer separating the red from the ground and a grooved rim, which is characteristic of Yuan pieces. The spacing is also very spread out, reminiscent of Yuan wares. However, the use of a thin black line as use of a guideline near the ground is something that starts to appear in the early Ming Dynasty.

The present lot closely resembles a dish in the Cleveland Museum of Art, included in the exhibition Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections, Lacquerware, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1987, cat.no. 56. See also a closely related dish in the Detroit Institute of Arts, with cranes on a ground of chrysanthemums, illustrated in ibid. cat.no. 60. Another related dish from the Yuan Dynasty was sold in our New York rooms 21st September 2006, lot 64.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 08 Apr 09. Hong Kong www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's