Description: A pair of large, rare blue and white bowls painted in rich vivid tones of cobalt blue with branches of grapes suspended from slender vines bearing coiled tendrils and broad leaves. The underside painted with Jiajing six charachter marks.
The grape motif is comparatively rare on Chinese works of art as the fruit was mainly grown in Central Asia. It appeared in the Tang dynasty when the Silk Road enabled a close contact with this region, and re-appeared in the Yuan dynasty, when China again had many economic and cultural ties with the West, before becoming increasingly popular during the Yongle reign.
Provenance: 1913 Manchester City Art Gallery exhibition label. Bought at Christies 1941. Recently Provided Provenance History: From the Collection of Robert Henry Benson (1850-1929) Exhibited at the ‘Exhibition of Chinese Applied Art’ City of Manchester Art Gallery, 1913, no’s 460 & 461, described as Jiajing Period. Included in Christies celebrated sale of part of the Benson Collection, July 1st 1924, Lot 189 (as Jiajing), bought by Harcourt Johnstone (1895-1945) for 15 guineas. Included in the Sothebys sale of the Harcourt Johnstone Collection, June 13th 1940, Lot 49 and described as Transitional.
Size: Approx 18.5 cm wide x 9 cm high
Condition: Usual wear consumate with age