• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1870

    A FINE EARLY MING BLUE AND WHITE 'LOTUS BOUQUET' DISH

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FINE EARLY MING BLUE AND WHITE 'LOTUS BOUQUET' DISH
    YONGLE PERIOD (1403-1424)

    Painted to the centre of the interior with a bouquet of lotus flowers, leaves, a seed-pod, sagittaria and aquatic plants tied with a bowed ribbon, encircled by three concentric rings below a composite floral scroll of thirteen flowerheads including pairs of chrysanthemum, lotus, peony, rose, hibiscus, camellia, and a single pomegranate flower beneath classic scroll at the rim, the exterior with composite floral scroll of fourteen flowerheads comprising seven pairs of flowers between a keyfret border around the foot and a border of classic scroll below the lipped rim, the cobalt with extensive 'heaping and piling', the base unglazed
    13 1/2 in. ( 34.3 cm. ) diam., box


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    The design on this dish is typically described as 'lotus bouquet' as the majority of the flowers, pods and leaves belong to the auspicious lotus plant. However, the bouquet also includes additional auspicious plants, such as the arrow-shaped sagittaria sagittifolia, a symbol both of generosity and of food in a time of shortage, and a stalk of millet, symbolising an abundance of grain.

    A number of dishes of this design and size are published: one in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum: Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book II, Part 2, Hong Kong, 1963, pp. 146-7, pl. 59; an example in the Shanghai Museum is illustrated in Underglaze Blue and Red, no. 135; one was included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition, Joined Colors, Sackler Gallery, Washington D. C., 1993 and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 7; and another is illustrated in The S. C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1987, pl. 10. A dish of this pattern was excavated from the Yongle stratum of the site of the imperial kiln at Jingdezhen in 1994, and is illustrated in Imperial Hongwu and Yongle Porcelain Excavated at Jingdezhen, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1996, no. 40.

    Dishes of this pattern have also been sold at auction, including one from the T. Y. Chao Collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1987, lot 233; and another larger example from the J.M. Hu collection sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 20 May 2009, lot 1804 (40 cm. diam.).

    Provenance

    Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 1 May 2001, lot 506


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A FAR EASTERN COLLECTOR