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A RARE WUCAI CRICKET JAR AND COVER
SHAOWENTANG MARK, KANGXI

The cricket jar has barrel-shaped sides decorated in underglaze-blue and overglaze green, yellow, black and iron-red enamels with three peony sprays amidst scattered blooms and leaves, the recessed cover is decorated with fruiting peach and pomegranate sprays amidst scattered leaves, the interior, underside of cover and the foot are unglazed, the hallmark is written in a line on the base, Shaowentang, The Hall of Successive Reputation
5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm.) diam., box
Exhibited
Christie's London, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 2-14 June 1993, Catalogue, no. 31.

Lot Essay

Cricket jars of this type are believed to have been used during the summer months to contain fighting or singing crickets; it has been suggested that the natural hollow gourd containers were used during the winter months to house crickets, when there was less incentive to keep them cool.

Compare a similar example enamelled with a single leaf over the underglaze-blue three-character hallmark, illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Woods, 1998, p. 172, no. 114. The author notes that the Shaowentang hallmark is recorded in Palace archives as having been used on cricket jars and other vessels used for crickets.

(US$13,000-20,000)
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