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    Sale 2389

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1749

    A VERY RARE WUCAI 'DRAGON BOAT' DISH

    Price Realised  

    A VERY RARE WUCAI 'DRAGON BOAT' DISH
    WANLI SIX-CHARACTER MARK WITHIN DOUBLE-CIRCLES AND OF THE PERIOD (1573-1620)

    With shallow rounded sides, the centre of the interior painted in underglaze blue and enamelled in red, green, yellow and brown enamels with a roundel depicting figures in seated in elaborate dragon, phoenix and peacock-form boats among lotus emerging from the rippled surface of the water within a border of alternating leafy floral stems, the exterior with a snake, a lizard, a centipede, a scorpion and a toad forming the Five Poisons divided by leafy sprays
    7 7/8 in. (20.2 cm.) diam., Japanese box inscribed by Koyama Fujio


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    The cavetto of the present dish is filled with a lively design of dragon, peacock and phoenix boats, representing the Dragon Boat Festival which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The festival is highlighted by the dragon boat race, with the dragon symbolic of the controller and bringer of the rains and thus the success of the crops.

    A Wanli wucai dish of identical design and similar size in the Percival David Foundation is illustrated by M. Medley, Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Polychrome Wares, London, 1978, no. 91. Compare also a Wanli marked qiangjin and tianqi-decorated lacquer circular tray decorated in the well with the dragon boat theme, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 April 2001, lot 645.

    Provenance

    A Japanese private collection