A Wucai floral dish. Mark and period of Wanli

the interior decorated with four large iron-red enameled peony blooms resrved on a ground of green and blue foliage, encircled on the cavetto with a border boughs of lychee, pomegranate, peach, and gourd, the exterior with a continuous lotus meander, the base inscribed with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue within double-circles. 38.6 cm., 15 1/4 in. Estimate 500,000—700,000 HKD. Unsold

NOTE: Wanli polychrome dishes of related floral pattern, varying slightly in size, can be found in the Idemitsu Museum of Art, Tokyo, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 207 (colour); another in the Ataka collection, Tokyo, is published in Masterpieces of Chinese and Korean Ceramics in the Ataka Collection, Tokyo, 1980, pl. 119; and a third example was included in the exhibition One Hundred Selected Masterpieces of Chinese Ceramics, Osaka, 1961, cat.no. 90, held under the auspices of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Further dishes of this form and decoration have been sold at auction; for example see a dish sold in our London rooms, 14th December 1982, lot 194; another sold at Christie's London, 12th October 1970, lot 15; and a third vessel sold in our New York rooms, 2nd November 1979, lot 332.

The present dish can also be found painted in blue-and-white; compare a dish in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, included in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 178, from the Rogers Fund; and another dish with the design reserved in white on a blue-ground, bearing the double circle and imperial reign mark of Wanli, in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, published in T. Misugi, Chinese Porcelain Collections in the Near East, Topkapi and Ardebil, vol. 2, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 129, pl. T60.

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