A very rare blue and white octagonal pear-shaped vase, yuhuchunping. Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

Moulded in three horizontal registers with lotus-shaped panels around the base enclosing eight precious objects, babao, the lozenge shaped panels around the body enclosing lotus and peony sprays and bouquets alternating with trellis patterns and lotus sprays emerging from waves, the shoulder with three panels depicting the friends of winter, pine, prunus and bamboo beneath a keyfret band and upright lappets encircling the outturned neck, the interior of the mouth painted with trefoils, 11 3/4 in. (30.2 cm.) high. Estimate HK$250,000 - HK$350,000 ($32,286 - $45,200). Price Realized HK$325,000 ($41,972)

Provenance: Previously sold at Christie's London, 12 June 1989, lot 165
Anthony du Boulay Collection, no. P242

Exhibited: The London Asian Art Fair, Porcelain for the Emperors, June 2003, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 1

Notes: This appears to be an otherwise unrecorded design featuring a more complex composition than usually found on vases of the form, interspersing floral sprays with geometric-ground panels around the body producing an interesting vertical variant of the radiating alternate bands found on blue and white dishes of this period. Other rare octagonal yuhuchunping of this period are more commonly painted with different upright floral sprays to each body facet and the lotus panels around the base enclose the more often-encountered pendent lappets or scrolls. Two examples of approximately the same size as the present example are illustrated in Yuan dai ciqi, Beijing, 1998, p. 49, nos. 45 and 47. A blue and white octagonal ewer unearthed in 1964 from Baoding in Hebei featuring a similar register of babao around the shoulder was included in the Capital Museum, Beijing exhibition, Blue and White of the Yuan, Beijing, 2009 and illustrated in the Catalogue, pp. 70-71.

Compare with a hexagonal blue and white vase of the same form decorated with similar geomtric patterns around the main panels alternating with fruiting branches rather than the flower sprays found on the present example sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 20 March 1990, lot 515 and illustrated in Christie's 20 Years in Hong Kong, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Highlights, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 45.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011 , Convention Hall www.chisties.com