A wucai barrel-shaped chess box and cover Wanli six-character mark and of the period
Lot 215
A wucai barrel-shaped chess box and cover
Wanli six-character mark and of the period
Sold for £92,500 (US$ 153,895) inc. premium
Auction Details
A wucai barrel-shaped chess box and cover Wanli six-character mark and of the period
Lot Details
A wucai barrel-shaped chess box and cover
Wanli six-character mark and of the period
Vividly painted in bright underglaze blue and enamelled in green, yellow and iron-red with a continuous scene of four mythical beasts with wild manes and tails issuing fire scrolls in a landscape of pines and rockwork, between a band of floral scroll at the foot and a geometric four-petalled floral band at the rim, the cover with a blue qilin, a green mythical beast and an elephant outlined in iron-red prancing in a pine grove.
14.5cm (5¾in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 明萬曆 五彩瑞獸紋鼓式蓋罐 青花「大明萬曆年製」楷書款

    Jars of this barrel-shaped form, complete with their original covers, and painted with dragons in wucai and underglaze blue decoration are extremely rare.

    A very similar box and cover in the Shanghai Museum is illustrated in Chugoku Toji Zenshu, Vol.21, Kyoto, 1981, Catalogue no.41. Another wucai box of this type, but without its cover, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York is illustrated by S.G. Valenstein, The Herzman Collection of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1992, Catalogue no.85.

    Other Wanli period chess boxes and boxes, with variations in the shape and decoration are also known. Compare a wucai barrel-shaped box and cover in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo meishu quanji: Gongyi Meishu Zhan 3 Taoci, Shanghai, 1993, fig.128.

    An underglaze blue example, of the same form to the present example, from the C.P.Lin Collection is illustrated by R.E.Scott, Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration: Four Dynasties of Jingdezhen Porcelain, London, 1992, Catalogue no. 90.

    A Wanli mark and period wucai octafoil box and cover painted with dragons and phoenix, from the Robert Chang collection, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2006, lot 1315. A box of the same form as the present example, but painted with Daoist immortals, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 13 November 1990, lot 149; and another painted with pairs of bixie and qilin was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 27 April 2003, lot 233. A similar wucai Wanli mark chess box was also sold in Bonhams Hong Kong, 21 May 2009, lot 1150.
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