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A rare Imperial blue and white dragon box and cover, China, Ming dynasty, underglaze blue six-character-mark and period. Estimate 20 000 €. Photo Nagel

B. 30 cm. Restorations

Provenance: Former old Japanese private collection

Boxes decorated with dragons were made in various shapes and sizes during the Wanli period, some in specifically conceived utilitarian shapes, such as the long rectangular examples used to hold fans, and others such as the present piece which may have been used as a container for a gift of sweetmeats

Cf. Catalogue of Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics, vol. 2, Tokyo, 1990, pl. 108; and one from the Lauritzen collection in the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, is included in L. Reidemeister, Ming-Porzellane in schwedischen Sammlungen, Berlin, Leipzig, 1935, pl. 38, a very similar box was sold at Christie’s London, 5th July 1976, lot 46

Nagel. « Asian Art ». 2014/12/08