A fahua jar with wooden cover, c.1450-1505
Lot 98
An elegant fahua baluster jar 15th/16th century
£30,000 - 50,000
US$ 51,000 - 85,000
Lot Details
An elegant fahua baluster jar
15th/16th century
Boldly decorated with a design of butterflies and cranes beside large lotus flowers rising from breaking waves; the reticulated wooden cover carved as a dense meander of lotus leaves, with malachite finial.
33.3cm (13 1/8in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • The term 'fahua' may derive from the Chinese term 'fenhua' [粉花], meaning 'powdered decoration' and refers to a group of medium-fired glazes developed in the late 15th century on the basis of the Yuan Dynasty liu li glazes (Q. Wang, A dictionary of Chinese Ceramics, Shanghai, 1989, p. 220, refers). Due to the very liquid nature of the glazes, the variously coloured areas are isolated from one another by clay walls which tend to vary in thickness.

    According to D. Lion-Goldschmidt, variations in the vivacity of the colours applied, as well as different shapes and subjects of decoration, may be attributed to different eras of production (D. Lion-Goldschmidt, Ming Porcelain, London, 1978, p. 127, discusses). On this matter, Lion-Goldschmidt also notes that the early fahua wares tend to feature motifs of lotus rising from water, cranes, birds and figures. The author further points out that complimentary decoration on Fahua, ie. that found on necks, rims and feet, also relates to the designs, found on late 15th century blue and white wares. Lotus panels, waves, clouds and beaded jewellery are obvious examples here.

    A similar design, but on a different shape to the vase offered here, is seen on the early 16th century guan illustrated by D. Lion-Goldschmidt (op. cit, p. 126, pl. 100). See also p.122, in the same volume, for two other jars of very similar form attributed to the late 15th century.
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