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A large blue and white 'phoenix' jar. Ming dynasty, circa 1500

of baluster form, freely painted around the exterior with four phoenix in flight amidst fire and cloud scrolls, all between a band of breaking waves at the base and a cloud collar at the short waisted neck. 29cm., 11 3/8 in. Est. 3,000—5,000 GBP

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 13 May 09. London www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's.