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A blue and white quatrefoil dragon box with wooden cover and stand, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period (1573-1620).

50 000 - 75 000 SEK
4 570 - 6 860 EUR
4 850 - 7 280 USD
Hammer price
145 000 SEK
Purchasing info
For condition report contact specialist
Cecilia Nordström
Cecilia Nordström
Head Specialist Asian Ceramics and Works of Art, European Ceramics and Glass
+46 (0)739 40 08 02
A blue and white quatrefoil dragon box with wooden cover and stand, Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period (1573-1620).

Of almost square section with indented corners, painted in vivid cobalt-blue tones with a lively five-clawed dragon flying amongst flame and cloud scrolls, the rims decorated with bands of scrolling lingzhi, the base with a six-character Wanli mark. Measurment porcelain part 26x26x8 cm. Measurement with wooden cover and stand 27x27x19 cm.

Crack, chips.


Purchased at Bukowskis Sale no 571, lot no 1853, then from the Collection of The Collection of Sigrid Ahlgren (1865-1938). Married to Fredrik Ahlgren, Ahlgrens technical works and Läkerol. She acquired a great part of her collection through the 'General Consul' of Peking and Shanghai, Lilliehöök, in 1923. Thence by descent.

Peviously in the Collection of Hans Öström, no 649. Hans Öström was a member of the famous 'Kina Klubben' China Club in Sweden in the early 20th Century. He worked together with Orvar Karlbeck and was reknown for his knowledge about Chinese porcelain and works of art.

From the Collection of Art Director Ivar Björnberg (1934-2021). Growing up at Östermalm, Stockholm Ivar visited gallery viewings, auction viewings and antique shops with his parents and alone. It was during his visits to the antique dealers of Stockholm he became friends with the dealer Victoria Lindström, Grev Turegatan 28, Stockholm (she later moved her gallery to Riddargatan). He started to work extra at the gallery and had her as a mentor when starting his own collection. The collection is a academic one and it shows Mr Björnbergs taste and great passion for the aesthetics of Chinese Works of Art.


Also compare; another box with two dragons in pursuit of a flaming pearl within a shaped panel, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Blue-and-White Ware of the Ming Dynasty, bk. VI, Hong Kong, 1963, pl. 7.


Compare a similar box sold at Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 11 May 11, London.

Compare a related box and cover with a similar design of a dragon, but holding a medallion above its head, published in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, pl. 11:129

More information

Boxes of all shapes and sizes were made during the Wanli period, some in specifically conceived shapes such as the long rectangular examples used to hold fans, and others such as the present example which may have been used as a container for a gift of sweetmeats.