• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1875

    AN EXTREMELY RARE MING BLUE AND WHITE 'BIRDS' STEMBOWL

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EXTREMELY RARE MING BLUE AND WHITE 'BIRDS' STEMBOWL
    CHENGHUA PERIOD (1465-1487)

    Finely painted on the exterior with four pairs of birds perched and flying among hibiscus, peach, peony and loquat sprays, above four fruiting sprays on the splayed stem foot, the interior well with a crane standing in front of a large lotus leaf, observing a smaller bird perched on the stem of a lotus pod, all within double circles, repeated under the mouth rim
    6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) diam., box


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    This unusual stembowl seems to relate most closely amongst published comparables to the bowl in the Ardebil Shrine, decorated on the interior with two birds on a crab-apple bush, and on the exterior with three similar bird and bush-sprays, see J. A. Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, pl.63. There is also a stembowl in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the gift of Mr and Mrs Stanley Herzman, 1990, formerly in the collection of F.B.C. Bravington; and a related stembowl decorated with aquatic plants in the Musée Guimet, Paris, illustrated by Lion-Goldschmidt, La Porcelaine Ming, Fribourg, 1978, pl.69.

    The style of painting closely resembles that found on a small bowl dated to the late Chenghua period and excavated from the 'quality-control' spoilheaps at the Zhushan Imperial kiln site at Jingdezhen, exhibited in Hong Kong, A Legacy of Chenghua, 1993, Catalogue, no. C58; and see also the stembowl of similar proportions to the present lot, ibid., no. A8.

    Compare with two other similar Chenghua period stembowls, the first painted with 'The Three Friends', sold at Christie's London, 10 June 1991, lot 121; and the other with kui dragons, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 May 2009, lot 1807.

    Provenance

    The Property of a Lady, previously sold at Christie's London, 5 June 1995, lot 121


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION


    Exhibited

    Chinese Art from the Ching Wan Society Collections, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1998, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 26