LATE WANLI to CHONGZHEN c.1610-1640 Ming Porcelain
A Very Rare Ming Porcelain Mountain Shaped Plant Holder, Late Ming Period, Late Wanli to Chongzhen c.1610-1640 (Probably Tianqi Period 1621-1627). This Ming Porcelain Vessel is Modelled on an Mountainous Eroded Stone Pillar with Rough Contours. There is Bamboo and Pine Growing Among the Crags, with a Bridge Suspended in the lower Park of the Mountain. A Thatched Hut with a Flag Can be Seen Sheltering Towards the Top. The Base has a `Cash` Shaped Pierced Aperture, there are Small Apertures Within the Mountain.
A chip to one of the edges around the lower appature.
Height : 26.5 cm (10 1/2 inches)
I have not yet been able to find a close comparison to the present piece however S.Marchant and Son had a related blue and white example with a monkey, where they suggest it was probably used for growing plants see : Ming Blue and White Porcelain; Jiajing - Chongzhen, Including Dated Examples (S.Marchant & Son,November 2004) page 50, item 33.
A Ming porcelain `Ornamental Rock` similar to the Marchant example is illustrated in : Illustrated Catalogue of Underglaze Blue and Copper Red Decorated Porcelains (Margaret Medley, University of London, Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, School of Oriental and African Studies London, 1976) page 52 plate IX, item A694.
This late Ming Scholars vessel, probably used for growing plants imitates the dramatic rough craggy pinnacle of eroded stone such as those found in Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province. These extraordinary shaggy pillars of rock are now part of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (the park covers 185 square miles and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992). The small open niches clearly fore filled a purpose. As the vessel is hollow and the base, although covered is pierced, it seems likely the object was used to grow plants and presumably was kept on a tray. Such an object would be a perfect scholars object. Bringing scroll paintings of wild mountains inhabited be a few reclusive people to life as a three dimensional with a living element.