A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period
Lot 41
A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl
Xuande six-character mark and of the period
£150,000 - 250,000
US$ 250,000 - 410,000
Auction Details
A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period
Lot Details
A fine and rare blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl
Xuande six-character mark and of the period
Confidently painted in a richly-toned underglaze blue with characteristic 'heaping and piling', the exterior with four Indian-style lotus flowers and two classic lotus blossoms on a continuous foliate meander above lappets and floral dots on the foot, the interior with a peony blossom surrounded by leaves in the well, encircled by six separate floral and foliate stems on the sides beneath a further band of floral dots at the rim. 21cm (8¼in) diam.

Footnotes

  • 明宣德 青花纏枝蓮紋碗 青花「大明宣德年製」楷書款

    The present lot is a fine example of the blue and white floral scroll bowls made in the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, and showcases some of the key technical and stylistic innovations developed during the Xuande reign. In particular, the Xuande period saw the successful development of the use of potangqing cobalt, mined domestically in China. This produces the typical 'heaping and piling' effect from uneven application of the pigment but the blue is nevertheless usually softer and more consistent than in the preceding Yongle period.

    It was also during the Xuande reign that the characteristic Imperial reign mark was developed, with the name of the dynasty and the Emperor written in underglaze blue, becoming the standard method of marking Imperial wares until after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the end of the Imperial Chinese dynasties in 1911.

    In Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, J.Harrison-Hall remarks that although the Xuande Emperor reigned for only ten years, the quantity of pieces produced in this short period is astonishing. Not only are thousands of pieces surviving now in museums, including 2000 official Xuande porcelains in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, but also a huge volume of shards from this period have been found at the Imperial kiln site at Zhushan, testifying to the high standards required during the period, and the harsh fate suffered by the pieces which failed to meet such standards. The need for vast quantities of bowls and other food vessels required by the court can be understood in the light of the Xuande Emperor reputedly dining three times a day and requiring over a hundred bowls each time.

    Floral scroll bowls come with a range of minor variations in design; the present lot appears to represent a set with one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (I), Hong Kong, 2000, no.152, and also one in the Shanghai Museum illustrated by Wang Qingzheng, Underglaze Red & Blue, Hong Kong, 1987, no.131. Other examples of related bowls with floral scrolls but with leiwen and classic scroll decorative bands at the foot and rim, rather than dots, are in the British Museum, see. J.Harrison-Hall, ibid., nos.4:24 and 4:25.
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