A fine and rare blue and white pilgrim's flask. Mark and period of Xuande. photo courtesy Sotheby's

based on a Middle Eastern metalwork prototype, the body consisting of two domed sections, painted on one side in rich cobalt-blue with linked ruyi heads overlapping petal lappets interspersed with trefoil flowers, all radiating out from a wheel-shaped medallion, bordered by 'classic scroll' along the edge, the reverse with an eight-pointed lappet starburst with petals alternating with trefoils, radiating out from a central ying-yang medallion, all enclosed by a chevron border, supported on a tall bulbous neck collared by a composite floral scroll band, and flanked by a pair of arched handles rising from the waisted neck and terminating at the shoulders with a broad floral tab, supported on a rectangular footring, the mouth inscribed with a six-character horizontal mark; 26 cm., 10 1/4 in. Estimate 15,000,000—20,000,000 HKD. Lot Sold 26,420,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: Acquired in the South of France, 1986.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art: The Collection of a Parisian Connoisseur, Part II. 07 Oct 10. Hong Kong www.sothebys.com