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Lot 234
One Chinese cloisonne enamel c/dish

£ 80,000 - 100,000
US$ 110,000 - 140,000
An extremely rare fifteenth century polychrome cloisonne enamel gilt-bronze circular cup-stand,
heavily cast, decorated in the interior in reddish-brown, yellow, white, dark green and vivid cobalt-blue on a pale blue ground, the well with eight stylised budding flowers, possibly pomegranate, borne on the same continuous delicate undulating stem, interrupted midway by small fruit, the flowerheads alternately inverted and trailing fine tendrils, encircled by a band of upright two-tone lappets, before green lappets, at the shallow well, below a border of twenty-four stylised breaking waves picked out in white in contrast to a dark green sea swirling around the everted round-edged rim, the countersunk centre of the central boss with a solitary lotus flowerhead, encircled by further lappets on the surrounding sloping flange, retaining some gilding and with the equidistant heads of four pins visible on the underside, used to secure the applied central boss above, (minor rim distortion in two places and with resultant slight loss of enamel),

Footnotes

  • Only two other fifteenth century cloisonne enamel cup-stands in this group currently appear recorded, each having in common the incised encircled six-character Xuande mark, written in calligraphy similar to that encountered on contemporary porcelain, and infilled in blue enamel. One formerly in the McLaren Collection was sold in London, 16th. June, 1999, lot 704. The other, from the Collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner, is in the British Museum, London, and is illustrated by Garner, Chinese and Japanese Cloisonne Enamels, 1962, col.pl.B, and pl.95a.
    The decoration of the cup-stand here offered and the Garner example is virtually identical, apart from difference in the respective lappet borders.
    The McLaren example has a decorative design of lotus, peony, rose, chrysanthemum and camellia, congruent with a cup-stand in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhonggu Meishu Quanji, Vol.10: Jin Yin Boli Falang Qi, 1987, pl.298. However, the Beijing example has its Xuande mark written in incised outlined characters, arranged vertically. Another, cup-stand, in this sub-group, also with this same method of representation of the mark, that is, incised, outlined and vertical, decorated with a design of six different flowers, formerly in the collections of T.B. Kitson and Mrs. Walter Sedgwick is now in the Uldry Collection, Switzerland, and is illustrated by Brinker and Lutz, Chinese Cloisonne: The Pierre Uldry Collection, 1989, pp.75, 92-93, and 100, no.23.
    For a discussion of this group, refer Morgan, "A Search for the Earliest Ming Style", Transactions of the Oriental Ceramics Society, 1980-81, Vol.45, pp.36-53; and Chang Lin-sheng, "Ching-T'ai Lan: Early Ming Dynasty Cloisonne (part I), National Palace Museum Bulletin, Vol.XXIV, no.1, March-April, 1989, pp.1-21, pls.23 and 24.
Auction information

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