Lot 3307
  • 3307

A RARE WUCAI 'DRAGON' RETICULATED BOX AND COVER MARK AND PERIOD OF WANLI |

Estimate
600,000 - 800,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • 21 cm, 8 1/4  in.
the reticulated domed cover centred by a red florette encircled by pointed leaves interspersed with four wan symbols within a lozenge-shaped border, reserved on a pierced ground of four lotus and pads divided by conch shells, the sides of the cover and box decorated with a band of four dragons chasing flaming pearls amid scattered flowers, all above a border of spirals circling the narrow footring, the base inscribed with a six-character reign mark within a double circle

Provenance

Tokyo Bijutsu Club, 13th November 1939, lot 64.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7th May 2002, lot 551.

Catalogue Note

Painted in bright and vibrant enamels with an unusual motif of lotus and conch shells, this box is remarkable for its pierced cover, which would have required considerable skill when glazing and firing. A closely related box is illustrated in Lu Minghua, Mingdai guanyao ciqi [Ming imperial porcelain], Shanghai, 2007, pl. 3-102; and another was sold in our London rooms, 3rd April 1979, lot 144. A further box of this design but painted predominantly in green and yellow enamels, from the R.F.A. Riesco collection, was included in the exhibition Mostra D’Arte Cinese, Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 1954, cat. no. 722. Boxes of type are also known painted in underglaze blue; a box is illustrated in Sekai tōji zenshū/ Ceramic Art of the World, vol. 14, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 220; and three were sold in our London rooms, the first from the collections of R.F.A. Riesco and the Toguri Museum of Art, 23rd June 1970, lot 63, and again, 9th April 2004, lot 39, the second, 11th December 1984, lot 341, and the third, 9th December 1986, lot 190.

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