The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 22, 2018

Chinese cast nets for rare Ming fish bowl estimated to sell for £500,000 to £800,000 at Bonhams
The bowl has been discreetly kept in a distinguished European private collection. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- An important and extremely rare wucai fish bowl decorated with a bird theme – mandarin ducks, geese, swallows and crested egrets in the rippling waters of a lake - is estimated to sell for £500,000 to £800,000 at Bonhams sale of Fine Chinese Art in London on November 7.

The fish bowl – used as a magnificent vessel for keeping fish in the Imperial Court - is particularly important as it is one of only six known to exist – the other four examples are all in museum collections: The Sir Percival David Foundation at the British Museum, London; the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh; the Hatakeyama Kinenkan Museum, Tokyo; the State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow; and the Umezawa Kinenkan Museum, Tokyo. It appears to be the largest of the five, measuring 57.2cm in diameter.

Asaph Hyman, Director of Bonhams Chinese Art department, comments: ”This hitherto unknown artefact presents collectors and museum with a once in a life time opportunity to acquire what is without a doubt an extraordinarily rare and important relic of the brief Longqing reign period.”

The bowl’s decoration, ducks depicted with lotus symbolise a harmonious conjugal relationship. Geese, similarly to Mandarin ducks were believed to mate for life and therefore also symbolise peace and prosperity in addition to marital fidelity. Egrets amidst lotus represent the Confucian ideal of a virtuous official. The latter would have been deemed particularly pertinent given the Longqing emperor's attempt to reform the governance and purge corruption in China five centuries ago.

The bowl has been discreetly kept in a distinguished European private collection and was acquired by the present owners from a family friend in 1978, though it was known to them as early as the 1960s.

Imperial records note severe flooding and earthquakes in Jingdezhen in the area around the Imperial kiln in the late 1560s. In 1571 the kilns were devastated by fire. These elements caused significant disruption to porcelain manufacture at the time. Furthermore, the impressive size of the present fish bowl would have been difficult to fire and consequently very costly. In 1571 the Jingdezhen censor Xu Shi (1519-81) requested the large Imperial order recently sent to be reduced by 80 percent. He specifically asked that the large fish bowls should be entirely removed from the order as they were particularly difficult to fire. These natural disasters and disruptions to the Imperial kilns during this very brief reign period underline the rarity of surviving examples of this period.

Today's News

October 1, 2013

Fire Beneath the Ice: Exhibition of works by Félix Vallotton opens at the Grand Palais

"Balthus: Cats and Girls-Paintings and Provocations" on view at Metropolitan Museum

Getty Conservation Institute releases a critical new resource for conserving historic photographs

The Anatomy Lesson: From Rembrandt to Damien Hirst at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

The Keeper's House at the Royal Academy of Arts opens to the public in London

Saint Louis Art Museum acquires major bust by Joseph Claus from Tomasso Brothers

Chinese cast nets for rare Ming fish bowl estimated to sell for £500,000 to £800,000 at Bonhams

MOCA Jacksonville presents Abstraction over Time: The Paintings of Michael Goldberg

Hermes leads $5+ million inaugural Beverly Hills Luxury Accessories Auction at Heritage

Unseen 2103: Strong sales, high energy, and great content reported at the second edition

Christian Boltanski: Grosse Hamburger Strasse on view at Kewenig in Berlin

American Folk Art Museum presents large-scale works by three Contemporary artists

Sundaram Tagore Hong Kong presents "Eye to Ear: Nathan Slate Joseph and Taylor Kuffner

FLATTPRIZE announces partnership with the National Arts Club and UNTITLED Art Fair

Allison Katz's first solo exhibition in London opens at Laura Bartlett Gallery

Landmark exhibition recognizes the achievements of women in science and medicine at The Grolier Club

Exhibition of the work of Corrine Colarusso opens at The Museum of Arts and Sciences of Macon, Georgia

Swann Galleries announces Rare & Important Travel Posters Auction on October 18

Chrysler Museum acquires three works by Idelle Weber

Carole Feuerman: The Golden Mean opens at Mana Contemporary

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful