A pair of fine iron-red decorated holy water bottles. Qianlong period (1736-95). photo Christie's Ltd 2010

Each with baluster body and a cylindrical neck above a domed base, decorated with central lotus sprays between lappets and stylised foliate bands - 8½ in. (21.6 cm.) high, finely carved wood stands (2). Est. £10,000 - £15,000 ($14,840 - $22,260) Price Realized £187,250 ($277,879)

Notes: A single identical example can be seen in the painting by Giuseppe Castiglione in the National Palace Museum, showing the Emperor Qianlong seated beside a table set with some of his treasures, see Palastmuseum Peking Schätze aus der Verbotenen Stadt, Berlin, 1985, no. 41, pl. 24; for another example presented to Cheltenham College, England, by Yuan Shikai in 1914, and now in the Weishaupt Collection, see G. Avitabile, From the Dragon's Treasure, London, 1987, no. 176, p.127; and see P. Lam, Qing Imperial Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1995, no. 83. Another example can be found in the British Museum, London.


A rare finely painted underglaze copper-red and blue 'mallet' vase, yaoling zun. Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722). photo Christie's Ltd 2010

Potted with high shoulders tapering towards the foot, finely painted in a soft copper-red with four roundels in the form of archaistic mirrors positioned above a band of upright blades rising from a herringbone band divided and outlined by fine lines in underglaze blue, the tall gently flaring neck rising from a bow-string band at its base - 9 1/8 in. (23 cm.) high. Est. £80,000 - £120,000 ($118,720 - $178,080) Price Realized £97,250 ($144,319)

Notes: Vases of this rare form appear decorated in both underglaze cobalt blue and also, like the current example, in underglaze copper red with underglaze-blue lines encircling the base. In both cases the Kangxi six-character marks are in underglaze blue. An underglaze-blue example in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 36 - Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (III), Hong Kong, 2000, p. 15, no. 11. An underglaze copper-red-decorated yaoling zun in the collection of the Tianjin Museum is illustrated in Porcelains from the Tianjin Municipal Museum, Hong Kong, 1993, no. 130. Another copper-red example, similar to the current vase, but with less well-controlled copper red, is in the collection of the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pp. 10-11, no. 7. A further copper-red example in the Baur Collection is illustrated by J. Ayers in The Baur Collection, vol. 4, Geneva, 1974, no. A 528. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, has two Kangxi vases of this form, one decorated in underglaze blue, and one, like the current example, in underglaze copper red. The latter appears slightly smaller and more delicately potted than the former (see Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol.11, Tokyo/New York/San Francisco, 1982, no. 119). Further copper-red examples include one from the Collection of Frederick J. and Antoinette H. Van Slyke, sold at Sotheby's, New York, 31 May 1989, lot 197, and two from the J.M. Hu Collection, sold at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 29 October 2000, lot 14, and 23 October 2005, lot 351. See also an identical example sold in our New York Rooms, 15 September 2009, lot 422.


A fine iron-red-decorated ceremonial vessel and cover, dou. Guangxu impressed six-character mark and of the period (1875-1908). photo Christie's Ltd 2010

Potted as a bowl supported on a high circular stem with tall spreading foot, finely decorated around the exterior with ferocious dragons amidst clouds in pursuit of the flaming pearl above a cloud band, all repeated around the base, supporting stem and cover - 11¾ in. (30 cm.) high. Est. £6,000 - £8,000 ($8,904 - $11,872) Price Realized £39,650 ($58,841)


An underglaze copper-red-decorated bottle vase. Kangxi period (1662-1722). photo Christie's Ltd 2010

The globular body surmounted by a long tubular neck and decorated around the exterior with three crouching mythical beasts - 15 7/8in. (40.3 cm.) high. Est. £6,000 - £8,000 ($8,904 - $11,872) Price Realized £22,500 ($33,390)

Provenance: The Estate of Leona M. Helmsley, New York.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 11 May 2010. London, King Street www.christies.com