A very rare carved cinnabar lacquer circular dish, Mark and period of Jiajing. Photo Sotheby’s.
of circular form, the shallow rounded sides resting on a slightly tapered foot, the interior finely carved with a medallion enclosing a sprig issuing a large lingzhi bloom and three peaches incised with cloud scroll motifs, the peaches bearing fu, lu and, shou characters, all wreathed in elegant foliage and against a diapered wanbackground, the cavetto encircled with a pair of dragons striding sinuously, interrupted by undulating lingzhiscrolls, the exterior with a composite floral scroll borne on a leafy stem consisting chrysanthemum, lotus and camellia blossoms, the foot bordered with a key-fret band, the base lacquered black and incised with a six-character reign mark in gilt; 19 cm., 7 1/2 in. Estimation 500,000 — 700,000 HKD
PROVENANCE: Sotheby’s London, 3nd July 1968, lot 84
EXPOSITION: Ming Lacquer, Bluett and Sons, London, 1960, cat. no. 10
2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong and the Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1993, cat. no. 66.
Layered Beauty: The Baoyizhai Collection of Chinese Lacquer, Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2010, cat. no. 44.
LITTERATURE: Sir Harry Garner, Chinese Lacquer, London, 1979, pl. 78
The present dish, which would have been suitable as a birthday gift, depicts three meticulously carved peaches, symbols of longevity, which are decorated with the characters fu (happiness), lu (high rank) and shou(long life), also associated with the three Daoist Star Gods Yang Cheng, Zhang Xian and Shoulao. The Jiajing emperor was a devout Daoist and as a result decoration influenced by Daoist iconography was favoured and often employed by artisans working for the court.
A closely related dish, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in the Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Lacquer Wares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Hong Kong, 2006, cat. no. 119; another is illustrated in Fritz Low-Beer, ‘Chinese Lacquer of the Middle and Late Ming Period’, B.M.F.E.A., no. 24, 1952, pl. 10; and a third example was sold in these rooms, 2nd November 1994, lot 260. Compare also a Jiajing mark and period cinnabar lacquer box, decorated with similarly inscribed peaches resting on lingzhi fungus, issuing from a rock, included in the exhibition Chinese and Associated Lacquer from the Garner Collection, The British Museum, London, 1973, cat. no. 71; and a qiangjin and tianqi-decorated lacquer dish incised with a related design of inscribed peaches, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated ibid., pl. 158.
Sotheby’s. The Baoyizhai Collection of Chinese Lacquer, Part 2. Hong Kong | 08 oct. 2014, 11:00 AM