• Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work auction at Christies

    Sale 7762

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    3 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 225

    A CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL 'ARROW' VASE

    MING DYNASTY, 16TH/17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL 'ARROW' VASE
    MING DYNASTY, 16TH/17TH CENTURY
    The compressed globular body supported on a short splayed foot and enamelled with four lotus blooms borne on leafy scrolls, the tall cylindrical neck applied with two tubular handles and further enamelled with chrysanthemum and lotus blooms, all reserved on a white ground
    5¼ in. (13 cm.) high


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    The 'arrow' vase, touhu, was used for a party game and can be traced back to pre-Buddhist times. The aim was to throw the highest number of arrows into the two cylindrical 'handles', and the loser of the game was punished by having to drain a beaker of wine. Han dynasty reliefs depict this game, and porcelain vases of this form can be found during the Southern Song dynasty. Compare the very similar cloisonné vase of this form in the in the Uldry Collection, Rietberg Museum, Zürich, Catalogue no.17, where it is dated to the first half of the 15th Century, together with a pair of arrow vases decorated with grape vines, no.32, dated to the second half of the 15th Century.

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