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    Sale 2611

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1934

    A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER DISH

    Price Realised  

    A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER DISH
    YUAN/EARLY MING DYNASTY, 14TH /15TH CENTURY

    Finely carved to depict a figure riding on horseback under a tall wutong tree, observing in the far distance another rider seated on a galloping horse, all set within a rockwork landscape under a circular moon between wispy clouds on an air-pattern diaper-ground, encircled at the lipped mouth rim a narrow border of eight-point rosettes, the exterior with a classic scroll band, the base with a dark brown lacquer and inscribed to one side with the characters, Zhang Cheng zao, 'Made by Zhang Cheng'
    6 7/8 in. (17.3 cm.) diam., Japanese double wood box


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    The main theme carved on the present lot depicts the scene 'Xiao He Chasing Han Xin under the Moonlight', a famous account of two key characters who helped Liu Bang to establish the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Han Xin was a capable military commander but Liu was not too impressed by him at first. After the failure to be promoted by Liu despite multiple recommendations by Xiao He, Han decided to desert. Xiao heard that Han had left and immediately chased after him, and returned only after two days with Han. During those two days, Liu, who was heavily dependent on Xiao for administration and advice, suffered an extreme panic attack because of his absence. When Xiao, upon his return, made another recommendation for Han, Liu accepted and made Han the commander-in-chief of his armed forces.

    Although a very popular story sometimes seen on other works of art pieces, it is very rare to appear on lacquer dishes.

    Provenance

    Nagasaka Mitsui.