A pair of extremely rare cloisonné enamelled double-gourd ewers
Incised Jiajing six character mark and period, 1522-1566, Ming dynasty
Height: 21 cm, 8.3 inches
Each is cast in the form of a double gourd, with the lower bulb rising from a slightly splayed foot, and the upper bulb tapering to a cylindrical neck. The two sections are joined by a high-arched handle, with a gently curved S-shaped spout emerging from the lower body. The domed cover surmounted by a bud finial is attached to the handle with a finely linked chain. Each is decorated with ten young boys at play engaging a variety of pursuits including one riding on a bamboo rod, one is spinning a top and another carrying a lotus leaf on a long stem, all under a spreading pine tree and a blossoming tree, all picked out in bright colours of green, yellow, red, white and blue on a turquoise ground. The base and waist are surrounded by radiating lappets and further decorated with bands of classic scrolls. The cover and spout are decorated with cloud scroll and the neck and handle with floral pattern. Both covers are the later replacements in 18th century.