A very rare Imperial blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark in a line and of the period
Lot 8
A very rare Imperial blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl
Xuande six-character mark in a line and of the period
Sold for HK$ 3,700,000 (US$ 471,990) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very rare Imperial blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl Xuande six-character mark in a line and of the period
A very rare Imperial blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl
Xuande six-character mark in a line and of the period
Sturdily potted with shallow rounded sides rising from a circular foot, the exterior painted in richly-toned cobalt blue with eight large herbaceous peony blooms borne on a meandering leafy scroll above a band of upright lotus lappets, all encased within double-lined borders and two bands of evenly-spaced flower-heads encircling the rim and foot, the body with a horizontal six-character kaishu mark. 27cm (10 5/8in) diam.

Footnotes

  • 明宣德 青花纏枝芍藥紋大盌 青花「大明宣德年製」楷書款

    Provenance:
    Phillip Cobb (d.1954), acquired in Shanghai circa 1930s, and thence by descent

    來源:
    Phillip Cobb (卒於1954年),約1930年代購於上海,後由家族繼承

    The present bowl, superbly painted in vivid shades of cobalt blue, is exceptionally rare and only one other very similar example appears to have been published; see a blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl, Xuande mark and period, with similar secondary borders painted with plum blossom florets, but of slightly larger size (29.6cm diam.), illustrated by Liao Pao-show A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum: Hsüan-te Ware, vol.I, Taipei, 2000, pp.158-159, no.49. Compare also a similar blue and white 'peony scroll' bowl, Xuande mark and period (28.1cm diam.), but with the secondary borders painted with lily florets, from the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (I), Hong Kong, 2000, p.154, no.146.

    The Imperial collections include other related bowls with varying main border designs of lotus or peony blossoms, auspicious fruit, lingzhi fungus, bajixiang emblems, 'Three Friends of Winter', and dragon; and with single or double secondary bands variously enclosing plum blossom or lily florets, cloud scrolls, foliate lily, lappets, classic scroll, and waves; for examples in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, see Liao Pao-show, ibid., nos.41-48, and 50-52; and from the Qing Court Collection, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see ibid., nos.143-145 and 147-148.

    Xuande-marked bowls such as the present lot are typified by their sturdy potting, shallow rounded sides, wide mouth and plain interiors, and the reign mark written in a line from the right to left below the rim. The purpose of the bowls remains obscure, but suggestions range from scholarly brush washers, to containers for playing dice and 'battle fields' for fighting crickets, as discussed in Chinese Ceramics: The S.C.Ko Tianminlou Collection, Part II, Hong Kong, 1987, p.53.

    A related blue and white 'lotus scroll' bowl, Xuande mark and period, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 October 2017, lot 3677; and see another example, which was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 December 2010, lot 3112.


    敞口,寬口沿,淺弧壁,圈足。外壁繪纏枝芍藥花八朵,口沿及足圈各飾朵梅一周,口、足、間以八道弦紋分割,近底處飾蓮瓣紋一周。碗內素面白釉微泛青。青花發色濃艷帶紫。胎骨厚重,圈足平削工整。外口沿下青花書「大明宣德年製」六字一行楷書款。

    傳世品中如此碗繪纏枝芍藥紋者,目前僅見台北國立故宮博物院一例,著錄於廖寶秀,《故宮藏瓷大系:宣德之部(上)》,台北,2000年,頁158-159,編號49,其尺寸稍大(29.6厘米口徑),口沿及足圈與此碗同樣均繪梅花。另見北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件紋飾類似的宣德大碗(28.1厘米口徑),唯有口沿朵花稍有變化,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:青花釉裏紅(上)》,香港,2000年,頁154,編號146。

    此式大碗,造型敦厚,胎骨厚重,宣德時廣為流行,其大小尺寸幾乎相同,唯外壁主紋及足圈紋飾不同而已。此類宣德寬口沿大碗,其款識為六字一行楷書款,固定書於口沿之下,其主體紋飾多有變化,包括龍紋、八吉祥紋、纏枝蓮紋,靈芝紋,歲寒三友以及瓜果紋等。台北國立故宮博物院藏有數例可資對比,見廖寶秀,同前著錄,編號41-18及50-52。北京故宮博物院藏繪其他紋樣之例,見同前著錄,編號143-145及147-148。

    有關此式宣德大碗之功用,有宮中賭具「骰碗」一說,亦有洗筆用器「筆洗」或盛放瓜果之用「果碗」之說,或為宮中祭祀用器,目前尚未有定論,但胎骨厚重、青花濃郁、繪工精良是其共同特點,更多對於其功用的討論,見《天明樓藏瓷》卷二,香港,1987年,頁53。

    香港蘇富比曾售出一件明宣德青花纏枝蓮紋大碗,2017年10月3日,拍品編號3677;另見香港佳士得售出一例,2010年12月1日,拍品編號3112。

    Phillip Cobb worked in Shanghai for Unilever circa 1930s. The Lever brothers established their first operation in Shanghai in 1923 and soon became the largest soap manufacturer in the Far East.

    菲利浦·柯布(Phillip Cobb)於約1930年代在上海聯合利華集團工作。利華兄弟於1923年在上海建立了第一個業務,並且很快成為遠東地區最大的肥皂製造商。
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