A rare octagonal wucai 'mandarin ducks and lotus' jar Tianqi four-character mark and of the period
Lot 280
A rare octagonal wucai 'mandarin ducks and lotus' jar Tianqi four-character mark and of the period
HK$ 800,000 - 900,000
US$ 100,000 - 120,000
Lot Details
A rare octagonal wucai 'mandarin ducks and lotus' jar
Tianqi four-character mark and of the period
Rising from a gently splayed foot with upward leaf lappets, the octagonal body of baluster form with high shoulders decorated with concentric ruyi-heads at the axis on quatrefoil ground, all ending in a short straight neck with a band of keyfret scrolls, the exterior featuring four barbed panels each with an aquatic scene highlighting a centralised lotus leafy spray, flanked by two swimming mandarin ducks and insects in flight, all enamelled in brilliant wucai enamels of red, blue, green, yellow and aubergine colours, the base inscribed in underglaze-blue with a four-character kaishu mark within a double circle.
19cm high.


  • 明天啟 五彩開光鴛鴦戲蓮圖八角罐 青花雙圈「天啟年製」楷書款

    Tianqi reign marks are found on porcelain dishes made for export to Japan, but it is extremely rare to find any reign-marked upright vessel, and the form of the current jar appears to be unrecorded in any private or museum collection. The texture of the wucai enamels, and the freestyle manner in which the decorative elements are treated, closely follows that found on larger Wanli reign-marked wucai vases. For an example of a Wanli reign-marked garlic-head vase from the Qing Court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, with similar tone of enamels and similar treatment of the waterplants and lappets, see Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours. The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Shanghai, 1999, pg.27, pl. 24.

    For examples of two Tianqi reign-marked porcelains collected in the British Museum, one enamelled dragon dish with a Tianqi six-character mark and another wucai dish with a Tianqi four-character mark. For a wucai dish made for export to Japan, see a dish from the Riesco collection, sold at Sotheby's London, 11 December 1984, lot 302; and later in the Dr and Mrs Peter Thompson collection, sold at Sotheby's London, 7 November 2012, lot 5.

    明代萬曆之後因朝政動盪,宮廷對御窯廠燒造的瓷器需求逐漸降低,以致當時的官窯傳世品現今幾數難見,而民窯燒造的大多為日用器具,大多粗製濫造。泰昌、天啟、崇禎三朝所燒造的官窯瓷器中,攜年號款之器更極為罕見。大英博物館明代瓷器藏品中,僅有五件器物書有天啟年紀年款,其中部分應該專門為日本市場而燒造。參見大英博物館藏一件素三彩龍紋盤,底部書「大明天啟年製」楷書款,另外一件五彩盤,底部書「天啟年製」四字楷書款,其風格對後期日本有田窯燒造瓷器起到決定性影響,見Jessica Harrison-Hall,《Catalogue of Late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum》,倫敦,2001年, 頁204,圖版8:27及8:28。
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