515
515
A FINE UNDERGLAZE-BLUE AND YELLOW-ENAMELED 'GARDENIA' DISH
ZHENGDE MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
100,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 212,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
515
A FINE UNDERGLAZE-BLUE AND YELLOW-ENAMELED 'GARDENIA' DISH
ZHENGDE MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
100,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 212,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Noble Pursuit: Important Chinese and Korean Art from a Japanese Private Collection

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New York

A FINE UNDERGLAZE-BLUE AND YELLOW-ENAMELED 'GARDENIA' DISH
ZHENGDE MARK AND PERIOD
the shallow rounded sides rising from a slightly tapered foot, the interior painted in shades of cobalt blue with a leafy branch bearing two five-petaled gardenia blooms and a tightly closed bud, encircled on the cavetto by fruiting branches of pomegranate, grape, peach and a ribbon-tied lotus bouquet, all between double-line borders, the underside with a continuous floral scroll of large blooming roses borne on a foliate stem, between double-line borders at the rim and foot, all reserved on a deep yellow enamel ground, the base with a six-character mark within a double ring in underglaze blue beneath a clear glaze, Japanese wood box (3)
Diameter 7 3/4  in., 19.8 cm
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Provenance

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20th May 1981, lot 715.
Christie's London, 10th December 1984, lot 886.
The Jarras Collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 8th October 1990, lot 301.
Hirano Koto-ken, Tokyo.

Catalogue Note

This piece is a fine example of a well-known type of dish painted in underglaze blue with spays of gardenia against a brilliant yellow ground. Dishes of this design were made from the Xuande (1426-35) to the Jiajing (1522-66) reigns and are known also in other color schemes, such as blue and white, and brown and white. During the Zhengde period, a distinctive stylistic change occurred in the rendering of this motif which is displayed on the present dish. The central design was tightened, the arrangement of the floral and fruit sprays on the well altered, with the lotus painted directly above the gardenia and the crab apple replaced by the peach, and the mark generally reduced from a six- to a four-character version.

 

The gardenia flower on dishes of this type, zhizi in Chinese, is not immediately associated with any auspicious meaning, but its distinctive fragrance was popular among ladies who wore branches of gardenia in their hair. It was also used for flavoring tea and for preparing cosmetics, and the small fruits of the plant were coveted for dyeing–producing a fine yellow or orange color–as well as for their medicinal benefits.

A closely related dish in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics, London, 2001, pl. 8:24, together with a slightly larger one with a six-character reign mark, pl. 8:23; another of slightly larger size, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Imperial Porcelains from the Reign of Hongzhi and Zhengde in the Ming Dynasty, Beijing, 2017, pl. 235; a third from the Percival David Foundation, now also in the British Museum, London, is published in Soame Jenyns, Ming Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1988, col. pl. H; and a further example from the collections of Mr and Mrs R.H.R. Palmer and Roger Pilkington, was sold in our London rooms in 1962, and in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th April 2016, lot 4.

For a Xuande prototype of this design, see a dish in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Harrison-Hall, op.cit., pl. 4.43. 

A Noble Pursuit: Important Chinese and Korean Art from a Japanese Private Collection

|
New York