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A large and unusual underglaze-blue and copper-red-decorated dish, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1662-1722). Estimate $25,000 – $35,000 Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

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The dish is decorated in the interior with an overall design drawn in a penciled style with leaping carp and Buddhist emblems on a ground of undulating waves. The reverse is painted with four further Buddhist emblems above the channeled foot. 13 ¾ in. (34.9 cm.) diam. Lot 3581 – Price Realized $125,000

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Provenance: Frides Lameris, Amsterdam, 1988.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.

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Like four other large dishes in the Curtis Collection, lots 3580, 3583, 3589, 3591, this unusual dish is finished with a channeled foot, although the present dish bears a Kangxi mark. This type of foot appears to have been used by the potters at Jingdezhen for a short period of time around 1670, and disappears in the second half of the Kangxi period.

The decoration on this dish, with a large-scale ground pattern extending across the entire surface, is very unusual. It is possible that, like narrative scenes of the period, patterns and ground designs were also inspired by printed illustrations. (fig. 1)

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Fig. 1: Woodblock illustration to Fang Shi Mopu (Catalogue of Fang’s Ink Cake Designs), by Fang Yulu, active 1570-1619.

For a related dish decorated in underglaze blue and copper-red with five carp on a similar wave ground, of slightly different shape than the present example, in Umezawa Kinenkan, Tokyo, see Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 15, Tokyo, 1983, p. 148, pl. 144.

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

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