• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1983

    A RARE PAIR OF MING 'PHOENIX' BROCADE PANELS

    Price Realised  

    A RARE PAIR OF MING 'PHOENIX' BROCADE PANELS
    MING DYNASTY, 15TH CENTURY

    Each panel woven with rust-red silk against a dark-blue ground to depict a repeated diagonal pattern of ascending and descending long-tailed phoenix in flight amidst two varieties of scrolling Indian lotus sprays
    26 3/8 x 64 1/8 in. (67 x 163 cm.) (2)


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    It is interesting to note the similarities of the phoenix and lotus motifs with those found on underglaze cobalt-blue ceramics and carved lacquerwares of the early 15th century. Archaistic phoenix executed with a sinuous feathery neck, elongated head, outstretched wings and long tasselled tails are closely related to a pair of phoenix rendered on a carved cinnabar-red lacquer bowlstand, dated to the Yongle period, from Sir Percival and Lady David and Lee Family collections, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 December 2008, lot 2119. This type of phoenix was also popular among Xuande period ceramics; cf. a jar and a square censer, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, p. 107, no. 101 and p. 131, no. 123, respectively.

    Additionally, the technique of using double-outlines to highlight the lotus flower petals on the panels are also adopted on the Lee Family lacquer bowlstand cited above.