Famille Noire Dragon Bottle Vase Bi Qi Zun. 清代 Qing Dynasty, 康熙 Kangxi Period (1662-1722)
A rare tall bottle vase of unusual proportions called by the Chinese a water chestnut form, bi qi zun. Height: 17" (43.2cm ) Width: 9 1/2" (24.1cm). Condition: Areas of degradation to the black ground. Price on application
Provenance: Vermeer & Griggs Collection No. 609
Notes: The shape was popular in the 18th C during the 康熙 Kangxi, 雍正 Yongzheng and 乾隆 Qianlong reigns and more commonly found in monochrome or crackled glazes. The slightly compressed globular body surmounted by a tall wide, slightly flared chimney neck, the whole atop a high ring foot. The vase is painted in famille verte enamels with a ferocious four clawed scaly dragon descending from the neck to the body amongst flames, flaming pearls and stylized cloud motifs on a black ground over a design of the "three friends of winter" motif (pine, bamboo, and prunus) that had been previously incised into the paste. The base is covered in a clear glaze. Famille noire items fell out of favor after the Kangxi period and were again immensely popular during the years of the Dowager Empress Cixi's influence (late 光緒 Guangxu period). Incised designs under many of the susancai glazed wares is not uncommon but are hard to see beneath the decoration.