sturdily potted with a well-proportioned rounded shoulder tapering to a countersunk base and surmounted by a short waisted neck, the baluster body vibrantly enamelled with a five-clawed dragon and a phoenix soaring against a ground of scrolling foliage bearing multi-coloured peony blooms, all below an upright lappet border and keyfret band encircling the neck
Lysberg, Hansen & Therp, Copenhagen, 25th September 1986.
Sotheby's London, 2nd December 1997, lot 271.
Painted with a bold design of a dragon and phoenix amongst a dense scroll of blooming peonies, the motif on this piece is reminiscent of designs on fourteenth century blue and white porcelain, as evident in the rendering of the serrated leaves and the large proportions of the animals and the flowers. The craftsman has created a harmonious sense of luxury and dynamism through the carefully composed design by echoing the form of the head of the dragon in the blooms and its sinuous body in the branches. A closely related vase, from the collection of Sir John Buchanan-Jardine, was included in The International Exhibition of Chinese Art
, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, cat. no. 2177; another was sold in these rooms, 24th November 1979, lot 266; and a third was sold at Christie's London, 5th April 1976, lot 96. Compare also a slightly smaller example sold in these rooms, 31st October 1995, lot 512; another sold in our London rooms, 17th December 1996, lot 153; and a much larger one sold in our London rooms, 12th July 2006, lot 128.
Doucai meiping painted with dragon and phoenix are also known with a lappet border near the foot, such as one from the Qing court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures in the Palace Museum. Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 237; one from the Hirota collection in the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, illustrated in Hirota Collection, Tokyo, 1973, pl. 274; and a third sold in our London rooms, 5th December 1995, lot 323.
Compare the design of the present vase with a Yuan dynasty ewer similarly rendered with a phoenix among flowers, illustrated in Zhu Yuping, Yuandai qinghua ci [Yuan blue and white wares], Shanghai, 2000, pl. 22.