A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL
A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL
A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL
A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL
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A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL

ZHENGDE FOUR-CHARACTER MARK WITHIN DOUBLE CIRCLES AND OF THE PERIOD (1506-1521)

Details
A FINE AND VERY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON' BOWL
ZHENGDE FOUR-CHARACTER MARK WITHIN DOUBLE CIRCLES AND OF THE PERIOD (1506-1521)
The bowl is delicately potted with rounded sides rising to a slightly flared rim supported on a cylindrical foot. The exterior is superbly painted in vivid blue tones with two striding five-clawed dragons amidst a leafy meandering lotus scroll. The pattern is repeated on the well of the interior, enclosing a central medallion with a leaping five-clawed dragon amongst a scrolling lotus. The foot is encircled with a band of ruyi heads.
9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Bluett & Sons, London, 1937, purchased for 54 pounds
Raymond F.A. Riesco Collection, no. 168
Literature
London Borough of Croydon, Riesco Collection of Chinese Ceramics Handlist, Croydon, 1987, p. 11, no. 94
Exhibited
Oriental Ceramic Society, Ming Blue-and-White Porcelain, 24 October - 21 December, London, 1946, Catalogue, no. 56
Oriental Ceramic Society, Loan Exhibition of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain 14th to 19th Centuries, London, 16 December 1953 - 23 January 1954, Catalogue, no. 127
The Arts Council of Great Britain and Oriental Ceramic Society, The Arts of the Ming Dynasty, London, 15 November - 14 December 1957, Catalogue, no. 137
Oriental Ceramic Society, Ceramic Art of China, London, 9 June - 25 July, 1971, Catalogue no. 167

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Lot Essay

The design of dragon and scrolling lotus appears to be much favoured by the Zhengde Emperor as it could be found on an array of porcelain wares produced during his reign, including dishes, stem bowls and zhadou, but very rarely on bowls such as the current example. Four bowls of almost identical design are known, including two in the Beijing Palace Museum, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (II), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2000, pls. 69 and 71; one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Minji meihin zuroku, vol. II, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 91; and one smaller example formerly in the Su Lin An Collection sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 23 October 2005, lot 204. Another bowl in the Palace Museum bearing the same design on the exterior and interior medallion, but with a plain cavetto and the reign mark rendered in Phags-pa script, is illustrated op. cit., Hong Kong, pl. 70.

A bowl of very similar design, but with deeper sides and of much smaller size was excavated from the Zhengde stratum at Zhushan in Jingdezhen and included in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka exhibition Imperial Porcelain: Recent Discoveries of Jingdezhen Ware, Osaka, 1995, Catalogue, no. 172.

Three other bowls bearing this design, but with much deeper and straighter sides have been published. One is in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in op. cit., Hong Kong, pl. 68; another is in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Mingdai guanyao ciqi, Shanghai, 2007, no. 3-77; and the last one is in the National Palace Museum, illustrated in Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book IV, Hong Kong, 1963, pl. 7.

A Zhengde mark and period dish bearing the same dragon and lotus design, also from the Riesco Collection, is offered in the same sale (lot 3116).
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