A very rare blue and white kneeling figure of an official, Vietnam, 15th-16th century. Estimate $30,000 – $50,000. Price Realized $35,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The well-modeled figure is depicted kneeling on his right knee and is holding in both hands a pear-shaped vase which is supported on his raised left knee and is decorated with ribboned emblems. He is wearing an official hat and his long robes, which are tied at the waist, are decorated with cloud-scroll motifs. 11 in. (28 cm.) high
Provenance: The Ken Baars Collection.
Literature: John Stevenson and John Guy, Vietnamese Ceramics, A Separate Tradition, New York, 1997, p. 369, no. 369.
Notes: Only two other blue and white figures of this form, which were amongst the Hoi An Hoard, appear to be known. This vast cargo of 15th century ceramics, probably on their way to Southeast Asian markets, was discovered in open seas off Cu Lao Cham Island, near the town of Hoi An, and are thought to have come from the kilns of the Red River Delta. The vast majority of the pieces recovered were sold at auction, with a small percentage of pieces being retained by the National Museum of Vietnamese History. The two very similar blue and white figures were sold at Butterfields, San Francisco, Treasures from the Hoi An Hoard, 13 October 2000, lots 1740 and 1743, with an enamel-decorated version being sold as Lot 1741. Two further enamel-decorated examples, from the same hoard, but of lesser quality, were sold at Butterfields, San Francisco, 3 December 2000, lots 6286 and 6288. See, also, the related 15th-16th century blue and white ewer in the form of a kneeling attendant holding a ewer sold at Christie’s London, 5 June 1995, lot 383.
The result of the Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 766g53 is consistent with the dating of this lot.
Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 15 – 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza