An iron-red decorated zhadou

Tongzhi period (1862-1874)

The globular body is supported on a short straight foot and surmounted with a wide spreading neck. The exterior is painted in iron-red with two five-clawed dragons in pursuit of the flaming pearl amidst flames and ruyi-shaped clouds, all between two lappet bands around the foot and the shoulders of the vessel. The neck is decorated with a floral scroll, the foot with a scrolling band. The interior and base are glazed white.

9 cm high



Acquired in Amsterdam in 1994
Formerly in a Dutch private collection


The base of this zhadou was most probably once inscribed with an imperial reign mark, which is suggested by the polished and scratched area to the center of the base. An identical piece was sold at Sotheby’s New York, 31 May 1989, lot 189. A zhadou in the Hong Kong Museum of Art of the same size and pattern and with a four-character Tongzhi reign mark was included in the exhibition The Wonders of the Potter’s Palette, 1984, catalogue no. 115.

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