A RARE JUNYAO MOON-WHITE GLAZED NUMBERED NARCISSUS BOWL Early Ming dynasty (2)

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Lot 526Y
A RARE JUNYAO MOON-WHITE GLAZED NUMBERED NARCISSUS BOWL
Early Ming dynasty

Sold for US$ 150,075 inc. premium

Chinese Works of Art

18 Mar 2019, 10:00 EDT

New York

A RARE JUNYAO MOON-WHITE GLAZED NUMBERED NARCISSUS BOWL
Early Ming dynasty
Potted with shallow rounded sides rising from a flat recessed well, supported on three ruyi-shaped feet emerging from the short circular foot ring, the rim bordered with twenty evenly-spaced bosses between two narrow raised ridges, with seventeen further bosses encircling the base just above the foot ring, applied overall with an even milky-blue glaze with characteristic worm-tracks, thinning to a mushroom tone along the raised edges and bosses, the foot incised with the numeral er (two) and washed with a brown glaze turning to olive where the glaze thickens, the bottoms of the feet revealing the gray stoneware body, wood stand.
8 5/8in (22cm) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 明初 鈞窰月白釉鼓釘盆 足內刻《二》字

    Provenance:
    Virginia Hobart (1876-1958), thence by descent

    Narcissus bowls of this type are called guding pen (drum nail basins) because their decoration resembles the heads of the nails used to secure the animal hides to the barrel of Chinese drums. They are the most popular form of 'numbered Junyao' wares, so-called because they are inscribed on the base with numerals from one to ten. Comparisons and studies of these numbered wares suggest that the numbers relate to the size of the vessels, with larger inscribed numbers generally indicating smaller sizes. The current example with the number two has a diameter of 8 5/8in (22cm), while another example inscribed with the number eight, sold at Christie's, Hong Kong, 3 December 2008, lot 2536 has a diameter of 7 3/4in (19.6cm).

    The dating of this group of wares has been the subjection of discussion from the opening years of the twentieth century as their large size and complex molding technique sets the numbered Jun containers apart from the subtly formed bowls, jars and vases associated by tradition with the Song and Yuan dynasties. After years of research on the large numbered Jun collection in the Harvard Museums, Robert D. Mowry has made a convincing argument for their manufacture during the early Ming period: see his "Recent Thoughts on the Dating of Numbered Jun Ware" which appeared in the exhibition Junyao, held at Eskenazi Gallery, London, 31 October - 22 November 2013, pp. 11-15.

    Examples of numbered Junyao wares in different shades of blue and purple can be seen in a number of important collections. For examples refer to A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum: Chun Ware, Taipei, 1999 pls.27-36; The Complete Collection of Treasure of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty(I), Hong Kong, 1996, pls. 24-28; and Rose Kerr, Song Dynasty Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2004, p.39, pl.30.

    An example with a similar glaze, inscribed with the number three, and dated to the early Ming dynasty, was sold at Sotheby's, New York, 3 April 2018, lot 3606; and another inscribed with the number two, dated Song/Yuan dynasty was sold in our London rooms, 10 July 2006, lot 82.
Contacts
A RARE JUNYAO MOON-WHITE GLAZED NUMBERED NARCISSUS BOWL Early Ming dynasty (2)
A RARE JUNYAO MOON-WHITE GLAZED NUMBERED NARCISSUS BOWL Early Ming dynasty (2)
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