A rare and large blue and white 'water dragon' basin. Jiajing mark and period
the wide tall sides boldly painted in deep underglaze-blue on the exterior with two prominent scaly five-clawed dragons striding among various water plants, including lotus and lotus pods, clover fern, water polyps and seaweed, the interior glazed white; diameter 23 1/4 in., 59.1 cm. Est. 40,000—60,000 USD - Lot sold 158,500 USD
NOTE: This basin is unusual for its animated design of dragons amongst water plants and no other example appears to have been published. Compare a slightly larger basin of this form, but decorated with dragons pursuing flaming pearls amidst clouds, included in the exhibition Selected Ceramics from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Hu, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, 1989, cat. no. 21; one sold at Christie's New York, 19th September 2006, lot 252; and another, painted with dragons among scrolling lotus, from the Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Philadelphia, sold in these rooms, 23rd March 2004, lot 640. Basins of this type, painted with winged dragons pursuing flaming pearls above waves and rocks are also known; see one in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, included in the exhibition Chinese Ceramics, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1965, cat. no. 29; and another sold in our London rooms, 31st May 1989, lot 82.
For a small Jiajing jar, with reign mark and of the period, similarly decorated with dragons and water plants between a ruyi collar encircling the shoulder and a band of petal lappets around the base, see one sold in our London rooms, 13th June 1989, lot 218.
A rare small blue and white quatrelobed 'Four immortals' jar. Ming dynasty, Jiajing mark and period
of quatrelobed section with swelling shoulders and a petite upright neck, painted in deep cobalt blue with four Daoist Immortals Li Tieguai, Liu Hai, Hanshan and Shide, among pine trees and rockwork, below a scrolling cloud border at the shoulder and ruyi-clouds on the neck, two Japanese boxes (3); height 4 3/4 in., 12.1 cm. Est. 40,000—50,000 USD - Lot sold 80,500 USD
NOTE: For a small Jiajing jar of ovoid form also decorated with the Four Immortals, but portrayed in a different stylistic manner and with shou characters, compare one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (I), Shanghai, 2000, pl. 99.
A closely related jar of this unusual design, depicting the Four Immortals Honoring the God of Longevity, from the Riesco collection, was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, Arts Council Gallery, London, 1954, cat. no. 163; another example was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 28th November 1979, lot 97.
A blue and white vase, zun. Jiajing mark and period
the archaistic vessel painted to the exterior in a soft underglaze-blue, with consecutive tiers of scrolling bands, flowerheads, stylized clouds, a broad section of flowers growing amongst rockwork, below a small band of pendent lappets, culminating in a trumpet neck repeating the flowers and rockwork motif, set with two columns of shallow molded flanges on the neck and body, the waisted foot with two bosses; height 9 in., 22.9 cm. Est. 6,000—8,000 USD - Lot sold 30,000 USD
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's London, 7th April 1981, lot 248.
Robert Chang Collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 24th November 1981, lot 112.
NOTE: Compare a similar vase with different floral design, also Jiajing mark and period, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum: Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book V, Hong Kong, 1963, pls. 9, 9a, 9b, pp 38-39.
A small blue and white 'bajixiang' bowl. Wanli mark and period
of shallow curved sides, painted in a light cobalt-blue wash to the side of interior with seven of the bajixiang ('Eight Buddhist Emblems'), the eighth emblem featured on the convex well above a scrolling lotus, enclosed in a double circle and bordered by radiating lappets, the exterior painted with small alternating lingzhi sprigs and wasps, supported on a petite foot, the six-character reign mark on the slightly recessed base; diameter 4 1/2 in., 11.4 cm. Est. 5,000—7,000 USD - Lot sold 13,750 USD
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28th November 1978, lot 83.
A blue and white 'lotus' jar. Ming dynasty, ca. 1500
of baluster form, boldly painted around the exterior with a continuous band of scrolling lotus flowers between a band of lappets at the base and wisps of clouds at the short waisted neck; height 11 1/8 in., 28.3 cm. Est.6 ,000—8,000 USD - Lot sold 6,250 USD
EXHIBITED: On loan to the Brooklyn Museum, New York (1970-2009).
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 16 Sep 09. New York. photo courtesy Sotheby's www.sothebys.com