A blue and white 'dragon' dice bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period (2)

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Lot 2
A blue and white 'dragon' dice bowl
Xuande six-character mark and of the period

HK$ 800,000 - 1,200,000
US$ 100,000 - 150,000
A blue and white 'dragon' dice bowl
Xuande six-character mark and of the period
Sturdily potted with deep rounded sides, the exterior brilliantly painted in vivid and varying tones of cobalt blue with characteristic 'heaping and piling' effect, with two striding five-clawed dragons chasing after one another amidst wispy clouds, between a band of lappets encircling the foot and a border of crashing waves, the interior well painted with a six-character mark in underglaze-blue within a double circle, the base unglazed, fitted box.
27.4cm (10 3/4in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 明宣德 青花雲龍紋缽 青花「大明宣德年製」楷書款

    Provenance 來源:
    A European private collection, by repute

    據傳歐洲私人收藏

    Bowls of this type, often described as 'dice bowls', are characteristically thickly and deeply potted, with the name denoting their possible use in the dice-throwing game. Dice bowls may be a Xuande period innovation, as previous examples have not been found.

    Although the reign of the Xuande emperor lasted for only ten years (1426-35), its contribution to the development of porcelain production and output cannot be understated. The Xuande emperor was close in artistic sensibility to his grandfather, the Yongle emperor, under whose reign Imperial porcelain production at Jingdezhen developed rapidly and encouraged a spirit of creativity along with rigorous standards at the kilns. The custom of denoting the Imperial reign on vessels produced in the Imperial kiln began in the Yongle period but more often as incised four-character marks; the custom continued in earnest from the Xuande period and throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    Compare a similar dice bowl excavated at the Zhushan Imperial kilns in 1983, illustrated in Yuan's and Ming's Imperial Porcelains Unearthed from Jingdezhen, Beijing, 1999, pl.126. Other examples can be found in important museum collections: see two examples of dice bowls, of similar shape and dragon decoration, illustrated in A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum: Hsüan-te Ware I, Taipei, 2000, pls.34 and 35; another example is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (I), Hong Kong, 2000, pl.124; see also one in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated by J.Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, pl.148; and in the Sir Percival David Collection in the British Museum, London; and in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., published in Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections, vol.6, Tokyo, 1982, pl.97, and vol.9, Tokyo, 1981, pl.104, respectively.

    A similar blue and white 'dragon' dice bowl, Xuande mark and period, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong on 10 April 2006, lot 1659.

    此缽胎厚體重,造型敦實飽滿,圓潤適度,敞口,弧腹深壁,平底。飾青花紋飾,外口沿繪翻騰海水,腹飾雲龍紋,近底處飾蓮瓣紋。碗心青花雙圈內書「大明宣德年製」楷書款。青花發色濃淡分明且有鐵鏽斑,富層次感和立體感。整體構圖有度,雲龍飛動,氣概非凡,反映出宣德官窯製品豪放生動的特徵。

    此類缽形器最早出現於新石器時代,後佛教傳入中國後為僧人所用之食器。到明宣德年間,缽形碗據傳為宮廷後宮賭博擲骰時用的骰盔子,品種有白釉、灑藍釉及青花器。此厚重胎體亦非常適用於擲骰子。

    宣德一朝僅持續了短短十年,卻在陶瓷發展史上中佔有十分重要的地位,其青花器更備受國內外人士的欣賞和重視。宣德帝從小受其祖父永樂寵愛,所習染的興趣亦大同小異,同樣雅愛藝術,其審美標準也因而有着密切關係。因此,宣德帝致力發展社會經濟的同時,也提倡藝術發展,景德鎮製瓷業在前朝的基礎上迅速擴展,生產了舉世聞名、冠絕一代的宣德青花,本器即為一例。明清兩代,在瓷器上署帝王年號款的做法,始於永樂年間,均為四字篆書,宣德皇帝繼承了前朝風格,帝王年號款逐漸普遍,款識的形式和內容也變得豐富。

    景德鎮珠山明代宣德官窯遺址在1983年曾出土同類的殘件可供參考,見炎黃藝術館編《景德鎮出土元明官窯瓷器》,北京,1999年,圖版126。台北國立故宮博物院亦藏兩件青花雲龍紋缽可資對比,見《故宮藏瓷大系宣德之部(上)》,台北,2000年,圖版34及35;再參見北京故宮博物院藏一例,著於《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集:青花釉裏紅(上)》,香港,2000年,圖版124。倫敦維多利亞及阿伯特博物館亦藏一例,見J.Ayers,《Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum》,倫敦,1980年,圖版148;再參考美國弗瑞爾藝廊藏二例,分別著於《Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections》,第六冊,東京,1982年,圖版97;及第九冊,東京,1981年,圖版104。香港蘇富比亦曾售出一相近例子,2006年4月10日,編號1659。
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A blue and white 'dragon' dice bowl Xuande six-character mark and of the period (2)
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