Monochrome | Important Chinese Art

Monochrome | Important Chinese Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 218. A rare large dark brown lacquer barbed charger, Ming dynasty, 15th century | 明十五世紀 褐漆菱口大盤.

A rare large dark brown lacquer barbed charger, Ming dynasty, 15th century | 明十五世紀 褐漆菱口大盤

Auction Closed

November 2, 04:07 PM GMT


50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot Details


A rare large dark brown lacquer barbed charger

Ming dynasty, 15th century

明十五世紀 褐漆菱口大盤

Diameter 46 cm, 18⅛ in.

Please note that this lot should not have a W symbol in the catalogue. This lot can be collected in New Bond Street after the sale.請注意,此拍品不應附有W 符號,拍賣後可於蘇富比New Bond Street 處提取。

The designs of Ming dynasty (1368-1644) lacquerware owe a large part to the styles first developed during the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties.

The present dish exudes an elegant simplicity, complemented by the warm tone of the lacquer and its fine, natural crackles. Known as yise or guangsu for its clean, simple look, monochrome lacquer was often the favoured choice of imperial lacquerware. According to Xiushi lu [A Treatise on Lacquer Art], the Ming manual for lacquer manufacture by Huang Cheng, the main colours applied on monochrome lacquer are red, black, yellow, green and purple, among which red, black and purple are the most common, and can consequently be seen on the largest variety of wares.

The distinctive bracket-lobed or so called ‘water caltrop’ shape of the present dish is often found in blue and white wares produced during the 13th and 14th century, probably drawing inspiration from Central Asian metalwork and pottery. The seven westward maritime expeditions led by the eunuch Zheng He for the Yongle Emperor not only facilitated the export of Chinese ceramics and silks, but brought back on his returns treasures and curiosities from regions associated with the exotic, records of which offer a glimpse into the fascinating history of global exchange in the period.

Other dishes of this rare form include an example attributed to the Yuan dynasty in the collection of the Museum Fur Ostasiatische Kunst Der Stadt Koln, Cologne, illustrated in Meisterwerk aus China, Korea und Japan, Museen der Stadt Koln, Cologne, 1979, p. 50, no. 48; and another of similar form in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, pl. 42. Compare also a smaller dish sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th April 2001, lot 627.