Lot 3605
  • 3605


500,000 - 700,000 HKD
625,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • porcelain
exquisitely modelled in the form of a large chrysanthemum bloom, the domed cover moulded with concentric rings of petals in stepped tiers radiating from the slightly raised central floret, the box supported on a short foot and moulded with a single band of corresponding petal flutes, the exterior covered with a slightly bluish-white glaze, the white base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character Xuande mark within a double circle


Collection of J.M. Hu (1911-95).
Sotheby's New York, 4th June 1985, lot 4.

Catalogue Note

Elegantly fashioned in the form of a chrysanthemum, boxes of this type, of attractive form and covered in a bluish-white glaze, are known in important museums and private collections worldwide; one in the Ataka Collection was included in Exhibition of Far Eastern Ceramics from the Ataka Collection, Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto, 1978, cat. no. 80; another of the same size and attributed to the Kangxi period, from the Avery Brundage Collection in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in He Li, Chinese Ceramics. The New Standard Guide, London, 1996, pl. 526 (no. B60P1594.a-.b); and a third, from the collection of Reizuiin, Chief Abbot of Daitsuiji Temple in Nagahama, Japan, was offered at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2012, lot 2297.

This rare group of boxes was in the past attributed to the Xuande reign. While the chrysanthemum flower was one of the most popular flowers in China and was widely used as an artistic motif already in the Northern Song dynasty, no related box of this type has been excavated at the Ming imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Considering together the refined potting, crisp moulding and relatively thin blue-tinged glaze of the present piece, it is probably an early Qing revival of the Xuande white-glazed wares instead of a Ming dynasty original.

This form with layers of petals on the cover can also be found in Qing dynasty wares made from other materials; see for example a cinnabar lacquer chrysanthemum box and cover of a more rounded proportion, inscribed with a poem by the Qianlong Emperor stating that the lacquer box was made to imitate wares from the Ming dynasty, from the Qing court collection and preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Lacquer Wares of the Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 2006, pl. 165.