VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT BLUE AND WHITE 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' BASIN, ZHENGTONG PERIOD (1436-1449), the central well finely painted with a writhing five-clawed dragon opposite a phoenix in flight, both chasing a flaming pearl among flame and cloud scrolls, the plain cavetto with anhua decoration, the everted rim painted with a continuous wave band, the exterior of the basin decorated with a continuous band of winged dragons in pursuit amongst lotus flowers and leafy tendrils, the cobalt blue of strong inky tones, the base unglazed, 34.5cm diam Provenance: November 1997, lot 1037. Roger Keverne Ltd., London, 14th November 1997. Exhibited: Oriental Ceramics Society, Sotheby's, November 2016. Note: a highly-important discovery, this basin belongs to a very rare group of large and individualistic blue and white vessels produced during the Zhengtong reign which show a continuation of the Yongle and Xuande styles. It is one of only two known basins of Imperial quality from the period. The other (38cm diameter), from the Anthony Cheung Collection, has two dragons in the central well reserved in white chasing a flaming pearl among waves. A guan (36cm high) from the group sold by Christie's New York, 22nd March 2007, lot 312, exhibits comparable execution of the dragons, flames and cloud designs. Also, guan shards unearthed at Zhushan in 1988 bear striking similarities. See Imperial Ceramics: Recent Discoveries of Jingdezhen Ware, Osaka Museum of Oriental Ceramics, 1995, pl.83. The dragons on the guan and on the present lot both have a distinctive muscular snout and large palms centred with circular pads. The mane, beard and wisps of fur at the joints are also similarly combed and curled. A yuhuchun vase from the National Palace Museum Collection in Taipei also exhibits similar style and drawing of the snout, scales, hands, claws and clouds.
Estimated Price £40000-60000 . To Be Sold In The Asian Art - Including the Anthony du Boulay Collection - Sale Date 11th November 2019
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