A fahua baluster jar. Ming dynasty, late 15th/16th century. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2010

Slip decorated and carved with scenes of scholars separated by trees and clouds between a band of petal lappets below and a ruyi collar above, with clouds on the neck, all in turquoise and biscuit on a dark purplish-blue ground, the interior glazed green, the base with a brown glaze wash - 14 in. (35.6 cm.) high - Estimate : $30,000 - $50,000

Notes: Fahua was popular during the middle Ming period, and manufactured in both northern and southern China. The term fahua means a design composed of lines. The glazes are poured inside the contours formed by the raised lines, which prevent the glazes from merging. Several other jars with different scenes are illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Chinese Arts of the Ming and Ch'ing Periods, Tokyo National Museum, 1963, no. 377; one in the Victoria and Albert Museum missing its neck, by L. Ashton and B. Gray, Chinese Art, London, 1953 ed., p. 279, pl. 108b; and another illustrated in A Pictorial Record of Early Ming Ceramics, Tokyo, 1963, no. 135.

Christie"s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. 26 March 2010. New York, Rockefeller www.christies.com