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    Sale 2621

    Important Chinese Lacquer Wares from the Lee Family Collection

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2130

    AN EXTREMELY RARE MING CINNABAR LACQUER 'DRAGON' CIRCULAR DISH

    Price Realised  

    AN EXTREMELY RARE MING CINNABAR LACQUER 'DRAGON' CIRCULAR DISH
    LONGQING INCISED AND GILT SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1567-1572)

    The circular dish with steep rounded sides, the interior finely carved in high relief to a green ground with a lively upright five-clawed dragon, forearms raised to the sides, poised to capture a 'flaming pearl' floating amidst ruyi clouds, all above crested waves breaking against jagged rocks and within a grooved circular medallion, the cavetto with a pair of striding dragons, each in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl', repeated on the exterior above a short foot ring carved with a keyfret band, the base lacquered red bearing the reign mark
    6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) diam., box


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    Previously sold at Christie's London, 14-16 December 1983, lot 58.

    Lacquer carvings with Longqing reign marks are rare as the reign period was short, lasting only six years (1567-1572). Two comparable Longqing examples both with similar upright dragons are known: the first, a dish also from the Lee Family collection, was included in the exhibition, Chinese Lacquerware, the Shoto Museum of Art, 1991, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 62, no. 65; and a lobed carved polychrome lacquer box was included in the exhibition, Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors, Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2007, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 106, no. 95; where the author cites the Lee Family dishes as references. Also, see a descending dragon on a Longqing basin in the British Museum, illustrated by H. Garner, Chinese Lacquer, Faber and Faber, 1979, 145, no. 87.

    The rendition of the lively upright dragon is closely comparable to those of the preceding Jiajing reign (1522-1566), cf. Jiajing-marked cinnabar lacquer carvings included in the exhibition, 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1993, p. 119, no. 59, an octagonal dish; an octagonal box, p. 123, no. 62; and a bowl, p. 127, no. 64.

    Provenance

    Mr and Mrs R.H.R. Palmer


    Literature

    Oriental Ceramic Society, Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 1955-57, vol. 30, no. 261


    Exhibited

    London, Arts of the Ming Dynasty, Arts Council Gallery, November - December 1957, Catalogue, no. 261
    The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, Catalogue, no. 61
    Los Angeles Museum of Art, 1990/91
    The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, 1991, Chinese Lacquerware, Catalogue, no. 64