Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau Part II

Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau Part II

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 3504. A fine and rare small blue and white globular vessel, Mark and period of Xuande | 明宣德 青花纏枝花卉紋水丞 《大明宣德年製》款.

A fine and rare small blue and white globular vessel, Mark and period of Xuande | 明宣德 青花纏枝花卉紋水丞 《大明宣德年製》款

Auction Closed

October 9, 03:14 AM GMT


3,000,000 - 4,000,000 HKD

Lot Details


A fine and rare small blue and white globular vessel,

Mark and period of Xuande

明宣德 青花纏枝花卉紋水丞


the globular body potted with generously rounded sides, superbly painted in soft tones of cobalt-blue, the exterior decorated with five large blooms borne on a slender meandering stem issuing tight buds and foliage, all above a band of upright lappets and a border of stylised scrolling stems at the foot, and below a continuous lotus scroll at the mouth, the interior with a central medallion enclosing a single spray of chrysanthemum, the six-character mark inscribed in a single horizontal line at the shoulder

h. 7.5 cm

Acquired in Hong Kong, 11th September 1991.


Perfectly formed in its ergonomic shape and softly painted with floral scrolls, this bowl exemplifies the style and taste of early Ming imperial porcelain. Small Xuande vessels of this form are described in Archibald Brankston, Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen, Beijing, 1938, p. 25, as qing shui wan (pure water bowls), which were filled with water and used during prayers for purification. The dainty size and rounded form allow it to be held comfortably in one's palm.

A small number of similar examples can be found in important museums and private collections. See an identical bowl in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong bowuguan cang Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue and white porcelain in the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2002, vol. 2, pl. 122; and another, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum's Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 3; and another in the Idemitsu Collection, published in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 636. Compare also a similar bowl, but lacking the reign mark, from the collection of Sir John Addis and now in the British Museum, London, accession no. 1975,1028.10, published in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics, London, 2001, p. 132, pl. 4:22, where an identical piece in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is mentioned.

For examples sold at auction, see one sold in these rooms, 26th October 2003, lot 125; another from the collections of Sir Percival David and Alfred Clark was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2007, lot 1351; and a further example from the collection of Edward T. Chow was sold twice in these rooms, 19th May 1981, lot 402, and again, 3rd May 1994, lot 40.

A similar bowl with Xuande mark and period, displayed on its wooden stand, is included in an extant handscroll of the Yongzheng period, Guwantu (Pictures of Antiques), in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, coll. no. E59-1911, dated in accordance with 1729, which depicts works of art from the Imperial collection.

本水盂造型典麗,青花濃艷,妙繪朵妍,置於手心,甚為適意,乃宣德御瓷珍品佳例。此器形早見於 Archibald Brankston,《Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen[景德鎮明初瓷器]》,北京,1938年,頁25,作者論述,此為凈水盌,盛載凈水,用於靜禱之時。器形渾圓小巧,置於掌心,恰如其分,舒適稱意。

可比較數例,見於各大重要博物館及私人收藏,其一乃清宮舊藏,現存於北京,載於《故宫博物院藏明初青花瓷》,北京,2002年,卷2,圖版122。台北故宮博物院亦藏一例,載於《明宣德瓷器特展目錄》,台北,1998年,編號3。另一例為出光美術館館藏,載於《出光美術館蔵品図錄.中国陶磁》,東京,1987 年,圖版636。倫敦大英博物館亦藏一類例,惟無款,館藏編號1975,1028.10,原屬 John Addis 爵士收藏,載於霍吉淑,《Ming Ceramics in the British Museum》,倫敦,2001年,頁132,圖版4.22,書中提述三藩市亞洲藝術博物館亦藏一類例。