172
172

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE COLLECTION

A LARGE BOLDLY ENAMELED WUCAI ZUN-SHAPED VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
172

PROPERTY FROM A JAPANESE COLLECTION

A LARGE BOLDLY ENAMELED WUCAI ZUN-SHAPED VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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New York

A LARGE BOLDLY ENAMELED WUCAI ZUN-SHAPED VASE WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
rising from a tall spreading foot to a bulbous middle section, surmounted by a flaring neck with a horizontal rib and a galleried rim, painted in vibrant overglaze red, yellow, ocher, green and black enamels and underglaze blue with a band of prunus reserved on a green wave band, the lower section of the body with blossoming camellia and prunus growing amidst pierced rockwork, two baskets and two jardinières filled with fruit and flowers encircling the bulbous middle, framed above by a composite floral scroll and a band of upright lappets at the neck, the rim with a classic scroll border and the six-character mark in a horizontal line in underglaze blue within a rectangular cartouche, wood stand, wood box (4)
Height 27 in., 68.6 cm
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Catalogue Note

Wucai wares of the Wanli period belong to one of the most sumptuous group of wares of the Ming dynasty, and are characterized by vibrant designs in vivid colors. They represent the strong revival of Buddhism and unprecedented imperial patronage of Buddhist causes under the Wanli emperor and the Empress Dowager Cisheng. Using funds from the imperial treasury, Wanli erected or restored many temple buildings, leading to an increased production of ritual and ceremonial pieces, altar vases for Buddhist worship within the imperial palaces and for donations to worthy Buddhist clerics.

Alongside his patronage of Buddhism, the Wanli emperor was also a devout follower of Daoism. As a result, Buddhist furnishings frequently combined both Buddhist and Daoist imagery. This vase is an example of such blending; while the vase is clearly intended for Buddhist worship, the basket of flowers is the attribute of Lan Caihe, one of the Eight Immortals who grants immortality.

The present vase, which derives its form from bronze originals, is magnificent in size and brilliantly painted, and only a small number of closely related examples are known; one is illustrated in Anthony du Boulay, Christie's Pictorial History of Chinese Ceramics, Oxford, 1984, p. 170, pl. 1, sold at Christie's London, 11th December 1978, lot 111; and a smaller version, in the Matsuoka Art Museum, Tokyo, is illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. I, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 916.

Compare a vase of related form and large size, but the central body painted with birds amongst rocks and flowers and the neck with dragons, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in Zhongguo taoci quanji, vol. 13, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 129; and another, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, published in John Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, pl. 171.

Important Chinese Art

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New York