The Jingdezhen porcelain was often used under Yongle as a diplomatic gift. Xuande sees it as a source of extreme refinement for his own use and the number of pieces bearing his mark is important. The mastery of the cobalt preparations allows subtle shades of blue on white that will never be equaled.
The Xuande potters try complex shapes inspired by gold or silver models. A bell shaped bowl with ten lobes for enhancing the visual effect of a fish scene was sold for HK $ 230M including premium by Sotheby's on April 5, 2017.
The emperors govern according to the principles of Confucianism but also protect the Tibetan Buddhism of which they acknowledge the mystical vision. The use of Buddhist themes in the Jingdezhen blue and white ware is essentially limited to the Xuande period. Two high quality Buddhist porcelains bearing his imperial mark will be sold by Sotheby's on October 3 in Hong Kong.
Lot 3301 estimated HK $ 35M is a bowl 18 cm in diameter whose flared shape is very elegant. It retains its cover, which is a rarity because the pots were so equipped only if they were designed for some ritual uses. The cover copies in an exact face to face the decoration of the bowl, a circle of eight lotus flowers all of them surmounted by one of the eight symbols constituting the Buddhist bajixiang. The imperial mark under the cover is an exquisite surprise when the eunuch opens the bowl. The transparent glaze is unctuous.
Lot 101 estimated HK $ 30M is an ovoid jar 19 cm high decorated with two dragons inspired by the Indian makara type which usually ensures the protection of a temple. This illustration is highly rare in the Ming porcelain.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Bowl : SOLD for HK$ 51.3M
Jar : SOLD for HK$ 35.5M