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A LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' GARLIC-HEADED VASE, SUANTOUPING
A LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' GARLIC-HEADED VASE, SUANTOUPING

WANLI SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD

Details
A LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' GARLIC-HEADED VASE, SUANTOUPING
wanli six-character mark and of the period
The pear-shaped body painted in inky-blue tones with two pairs of sinuous five-clawed dragons contesting a flaming pearl reserved on a ground of leafy flower-sprays, above a band of overlapping plantain leaves around the base and a key-pattern band on the foot ring, the slightly waisted neck with a saw-tooth border enclosing curled leaves beneath birds in flight and perched on flowering and fruiting trees, the globular mouth section with lotus scroll below the nianhao written in a line within a rectangular cartouche below the rim, glaze lines and minute rim chips
19 in. (49.5 cm.) high

Lot Essay

The design on this vase differs slightly from its apparently similar relations in being a 'dragon' vase and not a 'dragon and phoenix' vase. Compare the almost identical vase to the present lot in the Idemitsu Collection, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics, vol.II, no.745, and included in the 15th Anniversary Exhibition, Tokyo, 1981, Catalogue no.844; and another is illustrated by She Cheng, Mingdai Qinghua Ciqi Fazhan yu Yishu zhi Yanjiu, no.175. Several enamelled versions of this design are recorded: one is in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, Enamelled Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book III, colour pl.1; another is in the M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum, San Francisco, illustrated by R.-Y. Lefebvre d'Argenc, Chinese Ceramics in the Avery Brundage Collection, 1967, pl.LXII, fig.C, also illustrated by S. Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain, pl.100A.

Examples of the 'dragon and phoenix' version are illustrated by Mary Ann Rogers, Chinese Ceramics in the Matsuoka Museum of Art, Part II, Orientations, January 1996, pp.14-33, fig.13, where three other blue and white and wucai vases are included; another is illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, vol.I, pl.320, fig.956. Other wucai vases of this shape and with various decorations have been published, see Masterworks of Chinese Porcelain in the National Palace Museum, Taibei, colour pls.14-33; and the Baur Collection example, illustrated by J. Ayers, Catalogue, Geneva, 1969, vol.II, no.A203.
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