A Very Rare Massive Ru-Type Handled Vase, Fanghu. Seal Mark And Period of Yongzheng. Photo Sotheby's
of square section with rounded corners, the pear-shaped body supported on a high double-pierced foot with a lipped edge, the slopped shoulder decorated with two pairs of horizontal raised fillets, the neck flanked by a pair of facetted lug handles with raised edges, all beneath a lipped mouth, covered inside and out with a finely-crackled greyish-blue glaze, transmuting to a more intense shade of blue in the recesses, the countersunk base inscribed with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue; 63.5 cm., 25 in. Estimate ,500,000—3,500,000 HKD. Lot Sold 12,980,000 HKD (1.664.103 USD) to an Asian Trade
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20th May 1980, lot 105.
NOTE: The present vase is remarkable for its large size and lustrous even glaze and no other vase of this type appears to have been published. The Qing period saw a flowering of monochrome-glazed porcelains and under the Yongzheng emperor many glaze types found on earlier stonewares were revived. The greyish-blue tones of this vase is inspired by the celebrated 'Ru' ware from Henan, the official ware of the Northern Song (960-1127) and the rarest of all the Song dynasty official wares.
For smaller Yongzheng vases of this form and glaze, see two sold in these rooms, one 23rd October 2005, lot 319; and the other sold three times, 29th November 1976, lot 525, again 21st May 1979, lot 110, and again, 3rd May 1994, lot 110. Compare further smaller vases of this form, with Yongzheng reign marks and of the period; such as and Ge-type glaze in the National Palace Museum, included in the Special Exhibition of K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch'ing Dynasty in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1986, cat. no. 63; a Guan-type glazed example sold twice in these rooms, 14th November 1983, lot 135, and again, 29th April 1997, lot 577; and another with a Guan-type glaze from the Cleveland Museum of Art, sold at Christie's New York, 21st September 2000, lot 360.
For the prototype of this vase, which was originally inspired by the archaic bronze hu, see the Longquan celadon example of similar form included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum. Lung-ch'uan Ware, Ko Ware and Other Wares, Taipei, 1974, pl. 1.
Sotheby's. Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 08 Apr 11, Hong Kong www.sothebys.com