Alain.R.Truong

28 février 2015

A rare inscribed famille rose and doucai moonflask, Qianlong period (1736-1795)

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A rare inscribed famille rose and doucai moonflask, Qianlong period (1736-1795)Estimate $150,000 – $200,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The flattened, circular body is decorated in famille rose enamels on one side with a circular panel enclosing blossoming peony and chrysanthemum beneath a flowering osmanthus tree, and on the other side with another panel enclosing a lengthy poetic inscription in kaishu describing the autumnal scene and ending with the characters Qian and Long, all reserved on a decorative ground of doucai lotus scroll and iron-red bats that continues onto the neck which has a ruyi-head border at the mouth rim and is flanked by a pair of arched ruyi scepter handles. 12 ½ in. (31.7 cm.) high, box

ProvenanceSotheby's London, 14 November 2001, lot 116.

NotesFamille rose enamels were first incorporated into the doucai palette during the Yongzheng period, their range of transparent, translucent and opaque colors, stand in strong contrast to the cobalt-blue contours of the doucaidecoration, creating an unprecedented visual interplay both rich in color and texture. 

During the Qianlong period, the production of doucai wares was taken to new heights, bringing more elaborate designs that required exceptionally high standards of painting and enameling. The present vase testifies to such technical dexterity and artistic sophistication. The outlines of the scrolling doucai borders had to be meticulously painted in underglaze blue to create a complex but well-balanced composition, which compliments the famille rose-decorated central panel, endowing the colorful and much textured scene with resplendence. 

The present vase belongs to a small group of vessels featuring this combination of techniques and alternation floral decoration and poetic inscriptions. A virtually identical moonflask of this design featuring the same inscription was sold at Sotheby's London, 16 June 1998, lot 289. Other examples from this group include a tall doucai and famille rosevase with alternating panels of poetic inscriptions and floral branches in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Yeh Pei-Lang, Gems of the Doucai, Taiwan, 1993, p. 106, pl. 113. Like the present example, the Palace Museum vase features elaborate handles decorated in bright famille rose enamels. Also illustrated, p. 109, pl. 116, is another Qianlongdoucai moonflask decorated with landscape scenes, but with similar floral scroll bands on the narrow sides and neck. 

Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 15 - 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

 


A rare white relief-decorated bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period

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A rare white relief-decorated bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1723-1735). Estimate $200,000 – $300,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The bowl, with deep, rounded sides that flare towards the rim, is molded on the exterior with a band of leafy flower scroll bearing alternately ascending and descending blossoms, and is covered overall with a translucent glaze of very faint bluish tone. 8 5/8 in. (22 cm.) diam.

ProvenanceIra and Nancy Koger Collection; Sotheby's New York, 27 November 1990, lot 33.

NotesYongzheng-marked bowls of this shape with the same flower scroll relief decoration appear to be quite rare. A celadon-glazed example, also from the collection of Ira and Nancy Koger, was sold at Christie's New York, 19 September 2007, lot 369. (Fig. 1) The same flower scroll decoration can also be seen painted in underglaze blue, rather than molded, on a Yongzheng-marked bowl of somewhat different shape sold at Christie's London, 15 June 1999, lot 69. Two published bowls, also bearing Yongzheng reign marks, but of somewhat different shape, are relief-decorated with a band of archaistic dragon scroll, rather than flower scroll. One in the Robert Chang Collection, on which the band is reserved on a lemon-yellow ground, was sold at Christie's New York, 21 March 2000, lot 222, the other bowl, on which the band is highlighted in translucent green glaze, is illustrated by J. Ayers in Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1980, no. 211.

Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 15 - 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

27 février 2015

An underglaze-blue and copper-red-decorated ‘Dragon’ moonflask, Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the p

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An underglaze-blue and copper-red-decorated ‘Dragon’ moonflask, Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795). Estimate $300,000 – $500,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

Each side of the vase is decorated in copper red of soft, shaded tones with a dragon leaping in pursuit of a copper-red flaming pearl amidst blue clouds and above a band of wind-tossed waves, and a pair of arched handles painted with classic scroll flanks the cylindrical neck. 12 ¼ in. (31.1 cm.) high

ProvenanceAcquired in New Haven, Connecticut, before 1990, and thence by descent within the family.

Property from a Private Connecticut Collection 

NotesThis type of flask is also known as a 'pilgrim's flask' or as a magua ping (flask to be tied to a horse). It is recorded in the Yangxindian Zaobanchu gezuo huoji Qing dang (Qing dynasty archives relating to the crafts produced by the various Imperial Household Workshops of the Yangxindian), no. 3396, that in 1742, the court official Hai Wang received an order to "make a few drawings of this magua ping with underglaze-red dragons and underglaze-blue clouds over a white ground, to be passed on to Tang Ying in Jiangxi for several pieces to be fired according to them." The present vessel may well have been among those recorded flasks. 

Compare the present flask with others with similar decoration and of approximately the same size: one from the Qing Court Collection is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 36 - Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), Hong Kong, 2000, no. 213; and a similar example with a Qianlong mark from the Reitlinger Collection is illustrated by S. Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain, London, 1951, pl. XCIV, fig. 1. Another was included in the exhibition, The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1994, no. 66; and an example from the collection of Monsieur le Marquis du Bourg de Bogas was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1373. Compare, also, the similar example sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 15 June 1999, lot 72, and another from the Norton Collection, sold at Christie's London, 5 November 1960, lot 200, and now in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which was included in their exhibition of Chinese Ceramics, 1965, no. 116.  

Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 15 - 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza 

A rare massive pale blue-glazed relief-decorated vase, 18th century

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A rare massive pale blue-glazed relief-decorated vase, 18th centuryEstimate $500,000 – $700,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The vase is of modified meiping shape with a high-shouldered, tapering body well carved with a large scaly, five-clawed dragon pursuing a large flaming pearl amidst clouds on the upper body above a smaller dragon shown rising from the breaking waves that form a band above the unglazed base, all under a glaze of pale aqua-blue color. 27 ¾ in. (70.5 cm.) high

ProvenanceYamanaka & Company, Inc., New York.
Christie's New York, 21 March 2000, lot 388.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 10 April 2006, lot 1611.

LiteratureCollection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art, Yamanaka & Company, Inc., 1943, no. 1245, where the vase was dated to the Kangxi period.

NotesAlthough the color of the glaze on this unusually large vase is reminiscent of a qingbai glaze, the decoration of dragons amidst clouds above waves and the manner in which it is carved in relief is representative of other large vessels of 18th century date, such as the large jar of Yongzheng date (46.5 cm. high) in the Qing Court collection, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 37 - Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, no. 135, and the large bottle vase (58.9 cm. high) with globular body, and with Qianlong mark, also in the Qing Court collection, no. 137. The glaze on both of these large vessels is described as light greenish blue.

The design on this vase, of a larger dragon above a smaller dragon rising from the waves, may represent the passing of knowledge from father to son, or a wish for the transference of an official position from one generation to the next. This theme is most famously represented in a painting known as Spring's Peaceful Message by Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining) in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, of the Yongzheng Emperor with Prince Hongli (the future Qianlong Emperor). The young Prince is shown smaller than the Emperor, bowing slightly, and looking respectfully up at his father as the two men exchange a spray of prunus.

Christie’s. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 15 - 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

An enamel on copper 'dragon' snuff bottle. Probably Imperial, Palace Workshops, Guangzhou. 1720-1750

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An enamel on copper 'dragon' snuff bottle. Probably Imperial, Palace Workshops, Guangzhou, 1720-1750Estimate US$ 5,000 - 7,000 (€4,400 - 6,200). Photo Bonhams.

Very well-hollowed, the elongated ovoid bottle with a spreading neck, thin lip, raised oval foot, painted in enamels on a blue ground with two dynamic dragons amid cloud scrolls to the front and back, one with its mouth wide open, revealing sharp teeth, the other with a raised head and breathing out a flaming pearl. 2 7/8in (7.3cm) high

ProvenanceRobert Kleiner, Hong Kong convention, October 1996

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK



An inscribed spinach jade snuff bottle. Probably Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing. 1770-1800

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An inscribed spinach jade snuff bottle. Probably Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing. 1770-1800Estimate US$ 3,000 - 5,000 (€2,700 - 4,400). Photo Bonhams.

Of flattened, high-shouldered ovoid form with a short neck, flat lip and foot, one side neatly incised with an inscription reading 'Lianzhou qingwan' (for refined enjoyment of Lianzhou), followed with a small cartouche, all heightened in gilt wash; the grass-green stone cast with lighter and dark gray inclusions. 2 1/4in (5.7cm) high

ProvenanceThe Asian Art Studio, Inc.
Kenneth Hark, FL

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK

A fine white nephrite 'brocade-wrapped' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1750-1820

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A fine white nephrite 'brocade-wrapped' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1750-1820Estimate US$ 6,000 - 8,000 (€5,300 - 7,100). Photo Bonhams.

Well-hollowed, of flattened rounded form with a cylindrical neck, flat lip, well-finished oval foot ring, superbly carved in low relief with a brocade sash densely incised with floral diapers within leiwen borders, wrapped around the body of the bottle and gracefully tied to one side with a trailing ribbon over a qin instrument; the evenly-hued translucent stone with a very faint russet strap-shaped inclusions to one side. 2 3/8in (6cm) high

ProvenanceRobert Hall, Washington Convention, 27 October 2000
Josef Neumann, Australia

NotesOne can easily sense the tremendous patience and impeccable skills that the artisan applied to the carving of this exquisite bottle: from the deeply hollowed interior to the subtleness and even thickness of the raised work, from every sensitively incised line to the neatly polished rims. Each detail has revealed the outstanding quality the carver has reached in this petite artwork.
The symbolism of the tied brocade has two known indications. Traditionally, favorite objects were wrapped in brocade cloths and often related to imperial subjects. The design also forms a pictorial pun for fu (good fortune and happiness). 
Compare a similar jade snuff bottle, with a Qianlong mark, sold in our rooms, New York, 20 March 2012, sale 20211, lot 10. Another nearly identical white jade snuff bottle in the Bloch collection is illustrated A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Moss, Graham and Tsang, Hong Kong, 1998, vol.1 no 27.

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK

A greenish-white nephrite snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, 1780-1850

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A greenish-white nephrite snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, 1780-1850Estimate US$ 2,500 - 4,000 (€2,200 - 3,600). Photo Bonhams.

Very well-hollowed, the tall, tapering body rising to a waisted neck, its wide mouth surrounded by finely finished flat lip, recessed foot, the sides worked in rounded relief with evenly spaced vertical ribs; the pale celadon-toned white stone with small white and beige-colored spots. 2 3/4in (7cm) high

Provenance: Robert Hall France, Hong Kong Convention, October 1996

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK

 

A fine white nephrite snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, 1750-1820

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A fine white nephrite snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, 1750-1820Estimate US$ 6,000 - 8,000 (€5,300 - 7,100). Photo Bonhams.

Very well-hollowed, the ovoid body resting upon a tall, spreading foot ring with incised leiwen pattern that repeat to the raised band around the neck beneath its flat lip, the main sides finely carved in rounded relief with split-tailed chilong; the translucent white stone nearly flawless. 2 1/16in (5.2cm) high

ProvenanceRobert Hall, 19 May 1988

ExhibitedNorton Museum of Art, September-November 1997

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK

A white nephrite 'silk purse' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1780-1850

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A white nephrite 'silk purse' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1780-1850Estimate US$ 5,000 - 7,000 (€4,400 - 6,200). Photo Bonhams.

Of flattened semi-circular form, expertly carved to the front and reverse in relief with grooves imitating the pleats of a silk purse and gathered at the short neck, each of the narrow sides with a pair of apertures for attachment bordered with symmetrically designed with leafy lotus flowers carved in the Mughal style; the mostly white stone with cloud-like inclusions. 2in (5.1cm) high

ProvenanceChristie's New York, 21 March 2002, lot 224
Blanche B. Exstein
Hilda Somers collection, acquired in 1946
Yang & Co., Hong Kong

NotesSnuff bottles of this design, carved from jade as well as agate, copied the standard pouches or purses worn with official dress at Court. They were probably made at or for the Court, and are both a status symbol and an amusing reference to an official career.

Bonhams. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker, 16 Mar 2015 10:00 EDT- NEW YORK



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