A blue and white tapering cylindrical vase, Late Ming dynasty, Wanli-Tianqi period, circa 1620. Estimate $40,000 – $60,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The elongated vase, with high rounded shoulders and short cylindrical neck, is decorated on the body in rich tones of cobalt blue in a ‘windswept’ style with a continuous landscape with tall craggy mountains, in which two scholars meet and another walks with an attendant, all below panels of birds reserved on different diapers on the shoulder, and inverted lappets and ruyi heads on the neck. The foot and recessed base are unglazed. 15 ¾ in. (40 cm.) high – Lot 3507
Provenance: Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York, 1998.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.
Notes: A very similar vase in the Phoenix Art Museum, Matthew Wong Collection, is illustrated by Stephen Little in Chinese Ceramics of the Transitional Period: 1620-1683, New York, 1984, p. 39, no. 2, who notes that the shape, which is unique to this period, is a cross between the traditional meiping and the cylindrical-form vases of the Chongzhen period. The rocky landscape, depicted in deep shades of underglaze blue, envelopes the small figures and pays tribute to the earlier ‘windswept’ style. This style is particularly noteworthy in the undulating, wispy clouds that run through the mountain crests across the entire scene.
CHRISTIE’S. AN ERA OF INSPIRATION: 17TH-CENTURY CHINESE PORCELAINS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JULIA AND JOHN CURTIS, 16 March 2015,New York, Rockefeller Plaza