An extremely rare wucai 'shou and lingzhi' dish Jiajing six-character mark and of the period
Lot 1
An extremely rare wucai 'shou and lingzhi' dish Jiajing six-character mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 1,160,000 (US$ 149,593) inc. premium
Lot Details
An extremely rare wucai 'shou and lingzhi' dish
Jiajing six-character mark and of the period
The shallow sides rising from a pronounced footring, the exterior enamelled with a continuous flowering scene of three 'shou' characters interspersed between peaches and 'lingzhi' within lined borders, each character formed from naturalistic gnarled branches issuing fruits and leaves, the interior vividly depicting a central double medallion enclosing an additional 'shou' character forming a tree with flowering fruits of longevity and 'lingzhi', all in rich tones of brown, red, yellow, blue and green on a white ground, the base inscribed in underglaze-blue with a six-character mark. 14.3cm diam.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Bluett and Sons Ltd., London
    H.M. Knight collection
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20 May 1980, lot 72
    Sotheby's London, 13 July 2005, lot 186

    Henry M. Knight (1903-1971) was a major collector of Chinese ceramics and works of art ranging from the Han to Qing dynasty. He was well known for his highly discriminating taste and only purchased from trusted and reputable sources, primarily from Bluett and Sons. From when he started collecting in the 1930s up until 1970, Knight was for many years one of Bluett's most important clients. The current lot is an excellent example of a rare Ming porcelain bought from them during this time.

    Roger Bluett, in his article Trends in Oriental Art with an Accent on Chinese Ceramics published in Arts of Asia Nov-Dec 1980, vol.10 no.6, pp.97-102, wrote that "Henry Knight, who built up perhaps the best collection of eighteenth century porcelains in Europe as well as magnificent early pieces, was fond of telling how it was my late father [Leonard Bluett] who told him to buy 'Chinese taste' porcelains. Their time would come, my father used to say, and how right he was."

    A similar Jiajing reign marked 'wucai' dish preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours. The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, p.19, no.18 (fig.1).

    明嘉靖 五彩靈芝桃樹壽字紋盤 「大明嘉靖年製」青花六字雙行楷書款

    盤敞口,淺弧腹,圈足微斂。通體以青花五彩裝飾。盤心青花雙圈內繪一株桃樹,枝幹盤繞成「壽」字,樹上壽桃累累,綠葉葱郁,樹下結兩組靈芝。外壁亦繪三株桃樹,樹幹亦盤繞成「壽」字,樹上掛滿壽桃,間以三朵折枝靈芝。圈足及口沿兩側均飾以青花弦紋。圈足內飾白釉,足底書青花楷書「大明嘉靖年製」雙行六字款。

    明代嘉慶皇崇信道教,嘉慶朝的五彩瓷器上經常會出現用樹木枝幹纏繞成的「福」、「壽」、「寧」、「康」等寓意吉祥的字作爲裝飾,別具特色。此盤施彩濃重艶麗,紋飾佈局雅致得體,更有「吉祥長久」之美意。

    此盤曾由亨利•奈特(H.M. Knight,1903 – 1971年)收藏,他是二十世紀三十至七十年代歐洲最重要的中國藝術品收藏家之一,畢生收藏從漢代至清代的中國藝術精品不計其數。亨利獨到且睿智的收藏眼光驅使他只從可信和有名譽的顧問中徵集藏品,尤其從Bluett and Sons,曾成為其上世紀三十年代起最重要的客戶之一。Roger Bluett本人曾在書中回憶:「亨利每提到我的繼父是怎樣勸說他一定要收藏『中國風』的瓷器時都會異常興奮,他無疑擁有了全歐洲最好的十八世紀中國瓷器和其他高古陶瓷收藏。」。該盤與北京故宮博物院藏一件五彩「壽」字盤,其紋飾與形製均與此盤如出一轍(圖一)。參見上海科學技術出版社,《故宮博物院文物珍品大系 – 五彩、鬥彩》,頁19,圖版18。
Activities