MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI
The present box is among the finest wucai wares of the Wanli period. It is rare for its decoration and for being complete with its cover. Only three other boxes with this figure design, with slight variations, are known; one sold in our London rooms, 15th July 1957, lot 186; one at Christie's London, 11th December 1989, lot 203, and again 12th July 2005, lot 87; and a third example sold in our London rooms, 8th December 1992, lot 242, and again, 27th April 2003, lot 230.
Wanli wucai boxes of this form were more commonly painted with flora and fauna and in some cases with a pair of dragons confined to the inner ring on the lid; for an example see a box, from the Idemitsu collection, included in the exhibition In Pursuit of the Dragon. Traditions and Transitions in Ming Ceramics, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1988, p. 131, cat.no. 64.
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