Delicately colorful hand-painted paste box with a mythic Chi lin and immortals for Chinese usage and taste.
The face of this short porcelain circular lidded box has been richly painted with an immortal riding a Chi lin. The immortal holds a large lotus blossom and his attendant holds a fluttering umbrella. The design is exquisitely painted in turquoise, pink, blue, and gold over glaze enamels with black used to outline and accent the paintings, and a gold band used around the top edge. Around the top and bottom edges are bands of small insects fluttering among delicate flowers.
The painting has delicate line quality and expertise control. The glaze feels smooth except some of the colors feel dry to the touch, such as the pink. The lid’s lip and the opposing flange on the base are both unglazed. Glaze covers the circles of the potters wheel. The foot ring is unglazed but the base is glazed. The box is thinly potted.
There is a character mark in red painted on the unglazed lid inside edge and it’s matched by a Chinese character on the base unglazed flange. These were probably made to keep the right lid with its matching the base.
3 ¼” (8.3 cm) diameter x 1 ¼” (3.2 cm) tall Weighs 4.4 oz (125 g)
The box has no chips, cracks, or breaks. There are tiny kiln flaws, such as pin holes, and dark spots.
A small work of art that was made for every day use in China. Such expertise in a small piece.