A Chinese porcelain blue and white bottle vase, four character mark of Chenghua. Kangxi 1662-1722.
with slender cylindrical neck and gently flaring rim, painted with the moon goddess Chang Er and nine of her attendants, some with scroll, wrapped qin, peach, white hare, osmanthus sprig and fan respectively, all in a continuous scene with screen, wuti and cloud scrolls beneath the lotus topped roof and the moon. 13 3/4 inches, 34.9cm high. Price on application.
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Mayer, Winnetka, Illinois. Robert B. Mayer (d.1974) was a founder and board member of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and together with his wife Beatrice was also active at the Art Institute of Chicago. They were described as one of the largest private art collectors in the United States, their collection included Old Masters, Impressionist, Abstract Expressionist, Pop Art and Chinese Art, primarily from the Han and Tang dynasties, amounting to some 3000 objects and paintings. Beatrice Mayer was the daughter of Nathan Cummins (1896-1985), whose business empire, Sara Lee Corp, employs over 100,000 people with annual sales in excess of US$ 15 billion.
Formerly in the collection of the Robert B. Mayer family, Chicago, Illinois.
Sold by J.T. Tai & Co. Inc., New York.
Exhibited: The Montreal Museum of Art, 1976-1981.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1981-2005.
Note: The subject of Chang Er, the moon goddess, is usually identified with the appearance of a white hare who pummels the elixir of life with a pestle and mortar. Chang Er bestows the osmanthus sprig to a scholar as a reward for having passed his Imperial Metropolitan examinations and has earned the jinshi degree.
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