A BLUE AND WHITE CENSER
MING DYNASTY, CIRCA 1640
明 約1640年 青花文王訪賢圖爐
of bombé form supported on a straight foot, finely painted around the exterior with a narrative scene of a fisherman called away from his post to meet an official accompanied by a retinue of attendants and armored guards, bearing banners and standards, all set within a detailed landscape of rockwork and willow trees by the sides of a riverbank, the fisherman's abandoned rod, mat and basket on a rocky terrace in the distance
Diameter 8½ in., 21.5 cm
In overall good condition with fritting around the mouth, surface scratches, and a few scattered glaze flakes at the foot.
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In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The narrative design depicts King Wen of Zhou seeking the advice of the hermit scholar Jiang Ziya, later known as Taigong Wang. According to the legend, in the 12th/11th century BC, the scholar official Jiang Ziya had become disillusioned with the rulership of the Shang dynasty and so retired from service to spend the rest of his days fishing, waiting to serve a new and moral king. In planning to overthrow the Shang, King Wen of Zhou sought talented scholars versed in the arts of war and administration. He appointed Jiang Ziya to be his prime minister and gave him the title Hope of the Duke of Zhou. With Jiang Ziya's help, the Shang was overthrown and the Zhou dynasty was firmly established.