The progress of Jingdezhen porcelain is restarting with the Jiajing emperor, an art lover and an adept of Taoism. Becoming emperor at the age of 14 in 1522, Jiajing reigned for 45 years. Large pieces are made under his rule, using the bright color palette identified as wucai. Wucai literally means five enamels, five having here a meaning of plurality adjusted to the five elements
This emperor liked to state that he was the fisherman of the heavenly pond. The pattern with fish swimming amidst aquatic plants enables a pleasing interweaving of the drawings on the walls of the jars and Jiajing himself promotes this theme by massive commissions. The details of the themes are related to homophonic rebuses bringing to the emperor the auspices that he so much enjoyed.
A 46 cm high jar with its cover is one of the biggest pieces of that type. It is animated by carps of two different sizes. The suspension of the fish in water allows various attitudes. The porcelain was first painted with the classical underglaze blue. The other colors were added over the glaze. Experts believe that three firings have been necessary.
Pieces which are still with their original cover are very rare in private hands. This one was sold for HK $ 44M including premium by Sotheby's on October 29, 2000, a very high price at that time for a Chinese porcelain. It will be sold by Christie's in Hong Kong on November 27, lot 8006. Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
SOLD for HK$ 214M including premium