A magnificent and extremely rare blue and white barbed dish Yongle
Lot 318
A magnificent and extremely rare blue and white barbed dish Yongle
Sold for HK$ 2,280,000 (US$ 294,087) inc. premium
Lot Details
The Property of a Gentleman
A magnificent and extremely rare blue and white barbed dish
Very finely moulded and shaped, a feat of technical accomplishment, the large dish of flattened circular form gently rising at the sides to a pronounced everted rim, the cavetto neatly moulded into twelve sections, the rim barbed at each section, forming twenty-four near symmetrical lobes, brilliantly painted in bold tones of cobalt-blue with characteristic 'heaping and piling' effect with a central peony flower surrounded by a lotus, camellia, hibiscus and gardenia all depicted in blossom and bud amidst meandering scroll, the draftsmanship rendered in a spontaneous and energetic manner, reminiscent of a master calligrapher, especially in the lively rendering of the vines and foliage, the twelve-panel cavetto painted with six flowers (camellia, morning glory, lotus, peony, chrysanthemum and pomegranate) repeated in two sections, the underside with similar decoration, the rim with a continuous lingzhi scroll, applied throughout with an exquisite smooth glaze, the underside unglazed revealing a subtle red film of iron.
38cm (15in) diam.


  • Large blue and white porcelain dishes of the Yongle period can be found in various museum and private collections. Drawing on the traditions of the Yuan court, in the early Ming dynasty large scale dishes continued to be commissioned for the Imperial court. The select group of large barbed dishes produced in the Yongle period represents the pinnacle of porcelain production in the early Ming period. To fire such a large, complex dish was a technical accomplishment; to paint it so finely with such delicate depiction of floral motifs was an improvement of an earlier innovation.

    The present dish belongs to a group of barbed rim dishes all of similar size (around 38cm diameter) and painted in the same manner with a central composite floral scroll surrounded by individual blooms. For examples from the Qing court collection, see a dish in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, illustrated Porcelain of the National Palace Museum: Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Vol.1, Hong Kong, 1963, pl. 22; and a dish in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Mingchu Qinghuaci, Beijing, 2002, pl. 134.

    For other examples that have been preserved outside of the former Imperial collection, see two very similar dishes illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Vol.I, Tokyo, 1976, p.252, fig.762, and another given to the British Museum by Mrs Walter Sedgwick, illustrated by J.Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p.116, fig.3:35, where it is noted that a large dish of this shape was excavated at the Yongle stratum at Dongmentou, Zhushan, Jingdezhen in 1994.

    Eleven examples which found their way to the Middle East, where they were highly prized, were donated to the Ardebil Shrine by Shah Abbas the Great of Persia in 1611. Three of these are illustrated by J.A.Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine, Washington, 1981, pl.35, 29.101, 106 and 109 and it is noted that nine of the dishes are inscribed with the mark of Qarachaghay.

    The barbed rim and moulded cavetto can also be seen on a larger dish in the Peabody Essex Museum, illustrated by J.C.Y.Watt and D.Patry Leidy, Defining Yongle. Imperial Art in Early Fifteenth Century China, New York, 2005, pl.1 and another illustrated by J.Carswell, Blue and White. Chinese Porcelain Around the World, London, 2000, fig.99.


    本作品乃出自一批大小相似(皆為10釐米直徑)、花樣相同(中央有纏枝蓮紋、周邊環繞個別花朵)的葵口瓷盤。清宮所藏類似作品見於台北故宮博物院(見《故宮瓷藏:明青花瓷一》第22圖 / 香港1963年出版),及北京故宮(見《故宮博物院藏明初青花瓷》第134圖,北京2002年出版)。

    宮廷以外亦有類似作品保存。《創業七十周年 : 龍泉集芳》(Mayuyama, seventy years) 第一冊(東京1976年出版)252頁第762圖中便繪有兩件極為相似的瓷盤。另在 J. Harrison-Hall 所著 《Ming Ceramics in the British Museum》 一書116頁第3:35圖中,亦繪有藏於大英博物館的類似葵口盤。書中說明此瓷盤乃由Walter Sedgwick 夫人贈予大英博物館,並提到類似的大型葵口盤曾於1994年在景德鎮珠山東門頭的永樂層出土。

    另有十一件此類葵口盤傳到中東被視為瑰寶,1611年被波斯的阿巴斯大帝(Shah Abbas the Great of Persia)捐贈給阿德比耳寺 (Ardebil Shrine) ──其中有三件繪於 J.A. Pope 所著《Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine》 (1981年華盛頓出版)第35、29.101、106及109圖。書中並註明其中有九個葵口盤上面印有Qarachaghay可汗字樣。類似的模製折腰類葵口盤亦見於美國麻州畢巴帝艾塞克斯博物館 (Peabody Essex Museum) ──J.C.Y.Watt 與 D.Patry Leidy 所著《Defining Yongle. Imperial Art in Early Fifteenth Century China》 (紐約 2005年出版) 第一圖與J.Carswell 著《Blue and White. Chinese Porcelain Around the World》(倫敦2000年出版)第99圖皆有所記載。

    明永樂 青花纏枝花卉紋折沿葵口盤