A large blue and white 'double-gourd' vase, Ming dynasty, Jiajing period | 明嘉靖 青花瑞獸壽字紋大葫蘆瓶
Important Chinese Art from the Collection of Bruce Dayton and Ruth Stricker Dayton
A large blue and white 'double-gourd' vase
Ming dynasty, Jiajing period
the lower bulb of square section, each side boldly painted in inky cobalt blue with a fabulous beast including a qilin, an elephant, a lion, and a horse, sweeping into a constricted waist and surmounted by a round upper bulb, painted with crane and shou medallions on a cloud scroll ground, the elongated cylindrical neck with a border of ruyi lappets and further shou roundels
Height 25 in., 63.5 cm
Traces of restoration with repainting to 2/3 of the recessed waist, possibly to consolidate minor original glaze gaps along the looting line, and to another patch along the looting line to one side of the bottom section. Overall with age-consistent wear and expected minor firing imperfections, including minor glaze pulls along the looting line, some of which have been consolidated.
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.
Sotheby's New York, 15th September 1999, lot 81.
J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 17th November 2000.
Replete with symbols of longevity—the double-gourd form, the shou characters, cranes, lingzhi-shaped clouds, and auspicious animals—this robustly potted and decorated vase reflects the Jiajing Emperor's ardent devotion to Daoism and his desire to attain immortality.
Compare a related vase painted with qilin medallions on the lower bulb, exhibited in Inaugural Exhibition: Selected Masterpieces of the Matsuoka Museum of Art, Matsuoka Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1975, cat. no. 84. Another, with more stylized shou roundels on a similar cloud scroll ground, is illustrated in Hara Hiromu, Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. Museum Pusat, Jakarta, vol. 3, 1976, pl. 227. See also one with a scene of Shoulao on the lower bulb, included in Ming Blue and White: Jiajing-Chongzhen Including Dated Examples, S. Marchant & Son, London, 2004, cat. no. 8.
For examples sold at auction, refer to one sold in our London rooms, 5th November 2008, lot 67, and two sold in these rooms: the first, 21st-22nd September 2005, and the second, 11th September 2019, lot 885.