Description

Large Chinese porcelain famille verte, wucai brush pot, bitong, painted in a continuous scene without borders, of a flowering large tree peony branch, the blooms in iron-red and yellow on an aubergine branch with leaves in different tones of green beside a large butterfly in flight and rockwork, the interior glazed white, the base with wide unglazed band for the firing and a recessed glazed centre bearing an underglaze blue sealmark of mushi ju, ‘the lodge of wood and rock’, within a single square.

7 1/4 inches, 18.4 cm diameter; 5 5/8 inches, 14.2 cm high.

Kangxi, 1662-1722.

Condition

One rim chip and six foot chips restored, one of the flowers retouched, a couple of foot nibbles, minute glaze shrinkage to outer mouth rim and fire flaw to base.

Provenance & Additional Information

• From a French private estate.
• Sold by Sotheby’s Paris in their auction of Arts d’Asie, 10th June 2021, lot 131.
• Three famille verte brush pots and an underglaze blue example with calligraphy, all bearing a mushi ju sealmark, are illustrated by Sam Marsh in Brush Pots, A Collector’s View, the Ashfield Collection, PB 52, PB 96, PB 105 & PB 108, pp. 242-249 & pp. 124/5, where the author notes, “The seal mushi ju seems to reference a porcelain workshop during the latter part of the Kangxi reign (1700 onwards). Although these four brush pots have considerable similarities, the seal also appears on quite a range of different ceramics. One of the most notable is the remarkable baluster vase, decorated in blue and white, from a private collection, included in the New York Metropolitan Museum’s 2017 exhibition Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting and discussed in a 2017 article by Peng Lianglu”.
• In the article, ‘Where Potter Met Poets, A Kangxi Porcelain Vase with a Poetry Gathering in Jingdezhen’, from Arts of Asia (March-April 2017, p. 98-104), Lu Pengliang seeks to identify the owner of the Mushi ju workshop, a Mister Zhao Wenzong.
• Another brush pot with an iron-red mushi ju sealmark is illustrated by Wang Qingzheng in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, no. 111, pp. 166/7; a large famille verte brush pot with a mushi ju mark was sold by Sotheby’s New York in their auction of Kangxi: The Jie Rui Tang Collection II, 19th March 2019, lot 328 and was published by Jeffrey P. Stamen, Cynthia Volk and Yibin Ni in A Culture Revealed: Kangxi-Era Chinese Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection, no. 30, pp. 96/7.

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