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Alain.R.Truong
6 mai 2024

A rare miniature blue and white stem cup, Mark and period of Yongzheng

A rare miniature blue and white stem cup, Mark and period of Yongzheng
A rare miniature blue and white stem cup, Mark and period of Yongzheng
A rare miniature blue and white stem cup, Mark and period of Yongzheng

Lot 117. The Leshantang Collection. A rare miniature blue and white stem cup, Mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); h. 4,1 cm. Lot Sold 3,302,000 HKD (Estimate 250,000 - 350,000 HKD)© Sotheby's 2024

 

delicately potted with a rounded bowl raised on a hollowed-out spreading stem, the exterior painted with the Eight Treasures above a ruyi-strapwork, inscribed with a horizontal six-character reign mark inside the foot.

ProvenanceCollection of R.I.C. Herridge.

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20th May 1987, lot 439.

LiteratureThe Leshantang Collection, Taipei, 2005, pl. 30.

ExhibitedChinese Art from the Ching Wan Society Collections, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 48.

Note: The present vessel belongs to a small group of Yongzheng blue and white stem cups that draw inspiration from the Chenghua reign (r. 1465-87) of the Ming dynasty, faithfully replicating the design, form, and even size, typically measuring around 8cm in height. It is truly a rarity to come across such a miniature specimen, nearly half the height of its Chenghua and Yongzheng counterparts.

Yongzheng miniature stem cups are incredibly rare, with only a handful of known surviving examples. See a companion cup preserved in the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in Treasures in the Royalty. The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p. 172. Another notable related piece is a blue and white 'Eight Treasures' stem cup housed in the Taipei Palace Museum (accession no. guci-018002). However, there are slight variations in its shape and motif arrangement. This particular cup was later incorporated into a zitan curio box during the subsequent reign, plausibly handpicked by the Qianlong Emperor himself, highlighting the Qing emperors' affinity for such delicate and diminutive stem cups. 

See also two Yongzheng miniature monochromatic stem cups adorned in opulent enamels: a ruby-red example from the Leshantang Collection was recently sold in these rooms, 8th October 2023, lot 113; and a lemon-yellow version was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27th November 2019, lot 3025.

 

Sotheby's. The Leshantang Collection (II) – Treasures of Chinese Art from the Tsai I-Ming Collection, Hong Kong, 9 April 2024.

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