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A rare blue and white hexagonal tubular bird feeder, Da Ming Xuande Nian Zao six-character mark in underglaze blue in a line and of the period (1426-1435). Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2008

The slightly bowed body molded horizontally with six slightly concave facets divided by narrow flutes that continue to the conforming outline of the two ends molded with mallow blossoms, and painted with bands of classic scroll in deep inky tones of underglaze blue with ‘heaping and piling’ shading in areas to blackish brown, the two large apertures on the top with unglazed rims, with the reign mark reserved on a white panel on one side and the pair of small attachment loops applied on the opposite side; 3¼ in. (8.3 cm.) long. Estimate $20,000 – $30,000. Price Realized $50,000

Provenance: Acquired prior to 1985.