Masterpieces of Yixing Stoneware from the Mr and Mrs Jimmy Sha Collection (lots 546-558)
An Yixing stoneware 'chi dragon' brushwasher
Qing dynasty, signed Chen Ziqi The compressed globular body supported on a short foot, the steep sides gently curving to an inverted rim, applied with a long sinuous chi dragon depicted clambering up one side, the base impressed with a three-character zhuanshu mark, the stoneware of a rich purplish-red with attractive pale speckling. 9.8cm diam.
Chen Ziqi is recorded in traditional Yixing connoisseurship as having lived in the late Ming dynasty, Tianqi to Chongzhen period, with an unsubstantiated claim that he was the father of Chen Mingyuan. He is said to have specialised in teapots and scholar's objects, and his pottery vessels were marked by their skilful details and thin walls and skilful detail. According to the Yangxian mingtao lu (Record of Famous Pottery of Yangxian), a Qianlong period treatise dating to 1786, he was highly regarded as an imitator of Xu Youquan, a Wanli period potter.
For an Yixing stoneware brushpot of gardenia tree-trunk form by Chen Ziqi with similar three-character zhuanshu mark in the K.S. Lo Collection, see Yixing Purple Clay Wares, Hong Kong, 2002, p.61, pl.10.
Compare also a closely related example from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection, illustrated by Gerald Tsang and Hugh Moss in Arts from the Scholar's Studio, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, 1986, cat. no. 167, and sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 4 April 2012, lot 186.
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