|Chongzhen Transitional Blue And White Figural Ewer (TBW121503)|
ca. 1600-1640s, 17th century
Chongzhen period, Ming dynasty
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue; Jingdezhen ware
Height: 22.5 cm
Width: 16 cm (at widest point)
From an old English estate; ex-Christie’s
A well-modeled and charmingly designed, 17th century Chongzhen period wine ewer, likely produced by Jingdezhen potters for the Dutch or Portuguese market. In keeping with stylistic modes of the era, the body is painted with a continuous figural scene tail-ended by cloud swirls emerging from rocks. Most of this period’s figural scenes were sourced from common legends, historical narratives, plays, novels, and woodblock prints. The scene painted on this particular ewer might be a variation on the popular artistic theme, “Summoning the Hermit.” In stories and legends such as “Xuan Yuan Asking the Way” and “Visiting Pang Degong”, dignitaries travel with their entourage deep into the mountains, to seek wisdom and advice from some hermit-sage, and to emerge morally refreshed from a trip into nature.