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A rare blue and white rouleau vase, Kangxi period, 17th century. Estimate $12,000 – $18,000Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The vase is painted in muted tones of cobalt blue in the style of Mi Fu, the Northern Song Master, with a continuous mountainous landscape beneath bamboo sprays on the neck. The base bears a chrysanthemum spray within a double circle. 17 ¼ in. (43.8 cm.) high – Lot 3578 – Price Realized $43,750

Provenance: S. Marchant & Son, Ltd., London, 1985.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.

Literature: Julia B. Curtis, “Markets, Motifs and Seventeenth-Century Porcelain from Jingdezhen, The Porcelains of Jingdezhen, Colloquies on Art & Archaeology in Asia No. 16, London, 1992, p. 139, pl. 15.
Julia B. Curtis, Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars’ Motifs and Narratives, New York, 1995, pp.78-79, no. 23.

Exhibited: China Institute Gallery, New York, Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars’ Motifs and Narratives, 22 April – 5 August 1995.

Notes: In her comments on this vase in the exhibition catalogue Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century: Landscapes, Scholars Motifs and Narratives, New York, 1995, p. 78, Dr. Julia Curtis notes that it is one of a small group of porcelains from the early Kangxi period decorated in the style of the painter Mi Fu. A large vase from this group, from the Collection of the British Rail Pension Fund, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 16 May 1989, lot 43.

Mi Fu’s paintings were admired and emulated by 17th century Chinese painters such as Dong Qiching (1555-1636). The style of the mountains on the present vase can be compared to those in a painting attributed to Dong Qiching,Landscape in the Style of Mi Fu, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (fig. 1)

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Fig. 1: Landscape in the Style of Mi Fu, Attributed to Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Dated AD 1611 and 1612. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

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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