Lot 75
  • 75

Rare grande jarre en porcelaine bleu blanc Marque et époque Jiajing

40,000 - 60,000 EUR
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  • porcelain
de forme ovoïde, le pourtour peint de deux dragons à cinq griffes en bleu de cobalt profond aux tons violets, alternés de caractères shou stylisés formés de branches noueuses de lingzhi émergeant de rochers saillants, le pied entouré d'une bande de ruyi, l'épaulement peint d'une large bande de rinceaux feuillagés chargés de lotus, le col coupé et poli, marque à six caractères en bleu sous couverte à la base dans un médaillon contre un fond sans glaçure


The jar is impressively large and heavily potted, the neck has been cut down and the rim polished. There are 3 shallow chips to the rim, the largest ca. 1 cm long. There is a ca. 27 cm long crack extending from the rim into the side. There is a 4-prongued star crack visible on the interior and exterior, to the left of one shou character, with associated hairlines, measuring 10 x 12 cm. There is a 3-pronged star crack measuring ca. 8 cm visible on the inside of the jar. The fifth claw of each dragon's foot has partially been taken off. There are scratches to the glaze around the sides of the jar. There are some burst glaze bubbles on the sides. Overall wear and light scratching around the shoulders. The colour is of a much more vibrant cobalt tone than the catalogue illustration suggests.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

The present jar is noteworthy for the boldness and strength of the design of two strong curving dragons with lumpy brows and google eyes, haloed by sharply fringed lashes, with thick tresses sweeping back beneath the necks into high coiffures, all painted in bright tones of a dark cobalt blue. Both the particular shade of blue and the quirky style of dragon identify this particular jar as part of a small group of Jiajing or Wanli-marked jars of similar size and design.

According to Harry Garner, the potters active during the Jiajing reign were able to achieve, partly by the use of imported colour and partly, no doubt, due to improved methods of purifying the cobalt ore, the brilliant dark purplish-blue which is regarded as typical of this period. Because of his attachment to Daoism, there is a strong Daoist influence in the subjects chosen for the decoration of blue and white porcelain, namely a peach tree with its trunk twisted into the form of the character of long life (shou), see Harry Garner, Oriental Blue and White, London, 1954, pp. 30-31. 

Several large blue and white jars of this design are known, two of them complete with cover, one of them illustrated in Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argence, Chinese Ceramics in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1967, pl. LIV; another jar in the Baur Collection, Geneva, is illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection Catalogue, Geneva, 1969, pl. A156, no. 170. Compare also an example in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, vol. 34, Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (I), Hong Kong 2008, cat. no. 96. Compare another example in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated in R. L. Hobson, Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, Vol. II, London, 1915, pl. 34, and another jar in the collection of the Musee Guimet, Paris, published in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 7, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 81.