This charming bowl is accentuated by the raised band that encircles the exterior; two closely related examples in the Pierre Uldry collection were included in the exhibition Chinesisches Cloisonné die Sammlung Pierre Uldry, Museum Reitberg, Zurich, 1985, cat. nos. 20 and 21; another was sold in our London rooms, 18th June 1985, lot 242; and a fourth example was sold at Christie's London, 1st December 1997, lot 277. Compare also a bowl of this type, but the raised band decorated with red scrolling leaves on a turquoise ground, sold in our London rooms, 13th December 1988, lot 43.
The refinement and sinicisation of Buddhist-style imagery in the fifteenth century is evident in the elegant bands of decoration on this bowl. Tibetan-inspired cloisonné enamel vessels were created for use in Buddhist temples and thus decorated with designs suitable for their ceremonial function and surroundings. The dense composition of lotus scrolls with spiky blooms that often filled the background of paintings from central Tibet has been adopted by Chinese craftsmen as the main decorative motif for this piece. This design was chosen to adorn a variety of artefacts, including porcelain, lacquer and bronze.
For a cloisonné enamel kundika derived from a Tibetan prototype, similarly decorated with lotus scrolls interlaced with raised bands of gilt bronze, see one from the T.B. Kitson collection, sold in our London rooms, 18th October 1960, and now in the British Museum, London, published in Sir Harry Garner, Chinese and Japanese Cloisonné Enamels, London, 1962, pl. 16. The stylised lotus flower medallion adorning the centre of the interior of the bowl is also seen on Xuande mark and period vessels; three circular boxes with similar lotus flower motifs on the cover, in the Pierry Uldry collection, were included in the Museum Reitberg exhibition, op. cit., cat. nos. 1-4; and a blue and white bowl in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 184.
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