Description A large finely-decorated Chinese blue and white porcelain "Romance of the Western Chamber" gu-form beaker vase
The flared neck decorated with a scene from "Romance of the Western Chamber" likely when Zhang Gong, accompanied by a monk, first sees Cui Yingying and her handmaid Hongniang, in a walled gardern and pavilion, all above a band of foliate pomegranate sprays at the subtly swelling waist, with another band of pendant leaf lappets below, slightly flared foot.
H: 18 in.
Private collection, New York, NY
NOTE: The form of the present vase, the fine blue and the delicate painting all suggest a date of manufacture, circa 1640-60. For a vase of similar form and scale, see Michael Butler et al "Shunzhi Porcelain, Treasures from an Unknown Reign", Seattle, 2002, pp. 186-7, no. 55. See also Julia B. Curtis, "Chinese Porcelains of the Seventeenth Century...", New York, 1995, p. 132, no. 54, for a slightly larger (18 7/8 in.) polychrome-decorated example. For a vase with similar pomegranate sprays at the waist, dated in accordance with 1638, see ibid. pp. 110-11, no. 41.
The depiction of scenes from "Romance of the Western Chamber" were extremely popular in the Ming and Qing dynasties. For additional 17th century porcelains decorated with scenes from the "Romance", see Sir Michael Butler et al, "Seventeenth Century Porcelain from the Butler Family Collection", Alexandria, 1990, p. 82, no. 41, p. 181, no. 125, and p. 196, no.136
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