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    Sale 7581

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Export Art

    13 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 268

    A RARE MING BLUE AND WHITE 'FROG' BOX AND COVER

    WANLI (1573-1619)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE MING BLUE AND WHITE 'FROG' BOX AND COVER
    WANLI (1573-1619)
    The box of circular form and the cover moulded as a crouching frog, the amphibian occupying the entire surface except for a few foliage clusters around the rim, its body primarily under a blue glaze with darker spots on the legs and reserved with two prunus heads on its back, the lower half of the box painted with two foliage sprays alternating with insects in flight
    2 3/8 in. (6.1 cm.) diam.


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    Small boxes, used for cosmetics, pills, etc. were made in large quantities during the late Ming dynasty, and many were exported to Southeast Asia. However, a box in this unusual 'frog' form appears to be extremely rare.

    During the Wanli period, porcelain frogs generally took the form of 'frog' kendis but these are also rare. Such kendis are in several museum collections, including the Princessehof Museum, Leeuwarden, illustrated by Maura Rinaldi, Kraak Porcelain, A Moment in the History of Trade, London, 1989, pl. 234, p. 181, the Ardebil Shrine, Tehran, illustrated by John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, London, 1981, plate 97, no. 29.465, and two in the Topkapi Saray Museum, illustrated by Krahl & Ayers, Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol. II, nos. 1296 and 1297, pp. 730 and 731.

    Compare also the blue and white incense burner modelled as a three-legged toad, exhibited Ming Ceramics, Knapton & Rasti, London, 2006, catalogue no. 10, and the model of a crouching frog as no. 11, which is dated to the Tianqi period (1621-27).

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    Pre-Lot Text

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