168
168

PROPERTY FROM A HONG KONG PRIVATE COLLECTION

A FINELY PAINTED BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' GARLIC-MOUTH BOTTLE VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD 
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
168

PROPERTY FROM A HONG KONG PRIVATE COLLECTION

A FINELY PAINTED BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' GARLIC-MOUTH BOTTLE VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD 
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A FINELY PAINTED BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' GARLIC-MOUTH BOTTLE VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD 
sturdily potted, the pear-shaped body supported on a short tapered foot, rising to a tall neck with a garlic-head mouth and upright mouth rim, the body boldly painted in deep tones of cobalt-blue with two sinuous five-clawed dragons each in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl' between two phoenix in flight, all amidst a composite floral scroll and above bands of overlapping upright lappets and ruyi heads at the foot, and below a border of keyfrets at the shoulder, the slightly waisted neck painted with meandering floral scroll with 'auspicious emblems', with bands of stylized pendent ruyi and cloud scroll encircling the mouth, the six-character mark inscribed in a horizontal line within a rectangular cartouche at the rim. 
Height 17 1/8  in., 43.5 cm
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Provenance

English Private Collection, acquired between 1910-20. 
S. Marchant & Son, London. 

Exhibited

Recent Acquisitions, S. Marchant & Son, London, 2005, cat. no. 6. 
Ming Porcelain, S. Marchant & Son, London, 2009, cat. no. 33. 

Catalogue Note

Garlic-mouth vases of this distinctive form are outstanding among the larger Wanli wares and the treatment of their horizontal bands varies. Of this group of vases, the present type is particularly rare for the undecorated band at the mouth. Only one other closely related example appears to be known, sold in these rooms, 7th December 1983, lot 301, again in our London rooms, 13th December 1988, lot 169, and a third time in our Hong Kong rooms, 2nd May 2000, lot 659.

Two similar vases of slightly larger size, but with tasseled pendants encircling the mouth, were sold in our London rooms, the first, from the Hay Collection, 25th June 1946, lot 24, and the second, 21st June 1983, lot 249; and another was sold at Christie’s London, 27th November 1967, lot 42. Compare also larger vases decorated with the dragon and phoenix design, but with a lotus scroll on the neck and bordered by various design bands, such as one in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming imperial porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-74; two sold in these rooms, one, with a reduced rim, from the collection of Dr. Hsi Hai Chang, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Chinese Republic, 23rd-24th May 1974, lot 352, and the other, 15th March 2015, lot 11; and a fourth vase sold at Christie’s New York, 28th March 1996, lot 343, and published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4, pt. 1, London, 2010, pl. 1697.

Vases of this type can also be found painted in the wucai palette; see one formerly in the Lindley-Scott Collection and later sold in our London rooms, 4th July 1945, lot 80, included in Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1988, pl. 187; another in the Chang Foundation Collection published in James Spencer, Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 110; and a third sold in our Los Angeles rooms, 2nd November 1981, lot 304. 

The shape of this vase, with its bulbous head, appears to be based on archaic bronze versions, such as a pair attributed to the Western Han period (206 BC – AD 9), sold twice in these rooms, 12th-13th March 1975, lot 157, and again, 22nd March 2011, lot 191, from the collection of J.T. Tai & Co. Chenghua blue and white porcelain also served as inspiration; for an example of which, see a pear-shaped vase rising to a lotus bud-shaped mouth with raised overlapping layers of petals, the body painted with lotus blooms on meandering leafy stems, sold in these rooms, 9th October 2007, lot 1557. 

Important Chinese Art

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New York