Chinese porcelain blue and white fan-shaped box and cover, the three long sides painted with cranes in flight amongst clouds, the short side painted with a flowerhead and lozenge emblem, the cover with three Buddhist emblems amongst three peaches, the base with a three-character mark of Duli fu, ‘Superintendent’, in underglaze blue within a double rectangle.
Chinese small jade carving of a recumbent Buddhist lion with two horns and head turned back, holding in its mouth an openwork ruyi-cloud supporting a book, with upright trefoil tail, the four feet neatly tucked underneath, the stone pale celadon and slightly mottled on one side with russet hind quarters and tail.
Chinese Blanc de Chine bottle vase of bronze form with slender neck, garlic bulb beneath the upright gently everted rim, entwined with a high relief chilong dragon with bifid tail, all on a short splayed lipped foot rim, covered overall in a pale cream glaze.
A Chinese Blanc de Chine incense burner of archaic bronze lian form on three ruyi-head bracket feet, impressed with a central band of archaic animals on a liwen ground between horizontal ribs, covered in a white glaze.
Chinese Blanc de Chine large oval wine cup of magnolia flower form on three short feet, incised with a ten-character two column poem, the reverse incised with a standing crane and qin, covered overall in a cream glaze.
Chinese porcelain Blanc de Chine brushpot, bitong, stoutly potted with gently everted sides, incised on the body with a nineteen-character poem and a four-character signature, covered overall in a rich and even cream glaze.
Further information on 明代及早期器物
Early Ming dynasty ceramics took inspiration from the intricate but busy Islamic styles of the outgoing Yuan Mongols but it wasn’t long before the Han started to exert their own influences on design. From the 15th century onwards, Ming porcelain decoration became more subtle and restrained but as demand grew from Japan and Europe, it once again became more elaborate. It was one of China’s major exports and was often exchanged for Spanish silver. By the sixteenth century, Ming dynasty porcelain included vibrant colours such as blues, reds, greens and yellows.By the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it was becoming increasingly common for producers of Ming pottery and Ming porcelain to add imperial reign dates to their wares and there started a trend for artists to sign their wares. A signature on a Ming vase of one of the most highly respected Ming dynasty porcelain artists could dramatically affect its price, such was the reputation of some of the artisan craftsmen of the era, not unlike the European painters of the day.