518
518
A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER 'THREE FRIENDS OF WINTER' DISH
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED DINGHAI YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1587)
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
518
A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER 'THREE FRIENDS OF WINTER' DISH
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED DINGHAI YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1587)
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER 'THREE FRIENDS OF WINTER' DISH
MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI, DATED DINGHAI YEAR (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1587)
of circular form, with shallow rounded sides flaring at the rim and resting on a short foot, the interior carved with a medallion enclosing the 'Three Friends of Winter', depicting a pine partly obscured by a moon among swirling clouds, flanked by sprays of bamboo and a flowering prunus tree, all surrounded by four floral cartouches interspersed with various auspicious emblems on the cavetto, the exterior decorated with undulating flower scrolls wreathed in dense foliage, the base lacquered black and incised in gilt with an eight-character reign mark dated to the dinghai year
26.1 cm, 10 1/4  in.
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Catalogue Note

This dish is unusual for its rendering of the ‘Three Friends of Winter’ motif, with the trunk of the pine tree transforming into a lingzhi-shaped cloud formation with extending branches. While no other dish of this particular design appears to have been published, this piece belongs to a group of lacquerware decorated with designs brimming with Daoist iconography. This motif is possibly associated with the concept of xianrui (good omens), whereby clouds were believed to be an accumulation of qi, understood as the essence of all things, and therefore convey information or precede extraordinary events. This belief was widespread already in the Western Han dynasty (206 BC- AD 9) when professional qi watchers were employed to monitor clouds formations, and by the late Ming dynasty unusual meteorological events were associated with the Will of Heaven. Hence clouds obfuscating a pine tree or taking the form of a pine trunk may have been seen as a prediction of a particular event. Alternatively, the lingzhi-shaped clouds may refer to the belief mentioned in the Bencao gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica), which was printed during the Wanli reign, that the qi of old pine tree would transform into a lingzhi fungus (fuling) with effective immortality-inducing properties.

Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong