517
517
AN EXTREMELY RARE WUCAI SECTIONED CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 62,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
517
AN EXTREMELY RARE WUCAI SECTIONED CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 62,500 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

AN EXTREMELY RARE WUCAI SECTIONED CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
WANLI MARK AND PERIOD
the domed cover painted to the top with a circular panel enclosing a pair of mandarin ducks swimming in a lotus pond flourishing with lotus, reed and other aquatic plants, with an egret and magpie perched on the nearby banks, and a pair of magpies in flight above, encircled by a border of scrolling lotus, with each of the principal flowers supporting a Daoist emblem, the box similarly decorated, with the interior divided into a central circular compartment within four radiating sections, the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle, three Japanese boxes (8)
Diameter 6 in., 15.2 cm
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Provenance

Hirano Koto-ken, Tokyo, 1988.

Exhibited

Chūgoku no Kotōuji [Classical Chinese Ceramics], Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, 1988, cat. no. 2. 

Catalogue Note

This box is remarkable for its lively and highly auspicious design of birds by a lotus pond, rendered in brilliant polychrome enamels and underglaze blue. It is particularly notable on account of its use of iron red, applied in different layers to give texture to birds and flowers. This motif brims with auspicious symbolism; pairs of magpies and mandarin ducks express the wish for happiness and a harmonious marriage, while the egrets and the magpie on the lotus pod represent the wish for the successful completion of the civil service examinations and a successful career.

Boxes painted with this motif are unusual, although very similar example from the Lauritzen Collection, now in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, is illustrated in Jan Wirgin, ‘Ming Wares in the Lauritzen Collection’, BMFEA, no. 37, 1965, pl. 33; and another, from the collection of Sir A. Aykroyd, was sold in our London rooms, 17th May 1966, lot 21. A similar sectioned box of the same size and painted with a variation of the same design in the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 40.

 

This motif is also known on boxes painted in underglaze blue only, such as an example from the Huaihaitang Collection, included in the exhibition Enlightening Elegance. Imperial Porcelain of the Ming to Late Ming, Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2012, cat. no. 104; and another sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th November 1982, lot 106.

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

|
New York