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A rare famille rose lantern vase. Qianlong seal mark and of the period. Photo Bonhams

Superbly enamelled around the ovoid body with scenes of scholars by a riverside and on a sampan, all amidst a mountainous rocky riverscape with a mansion and pagodas, pine, wutong and willow trees, all between a band of ruyi heads on the shoulders and lotus-petal panels above the foot, the waisted neck decorated with four lotus blossoms reserved on a pink sgraffiato ground between upright lappets and a band of ruyi heads below the green, iron-red and gilt everted rim, raised on a splayed foot enamelled with alternating foliate floral blossoms reserved on a pink sgraffiato ground above a ruyi-head border.41.2cm (16¼in) high. Sold for £205,250

Provenance: an English private collection

The lantern shape of the present lot forms a circular 'canvas' allowing the artist to create a complete 360° scene, undoubtedly inspired from paintings. The depiction of fisherman or scholars in sampans sailing in a lake flanked by pagodas and buildings, in an idealic secene surrounded by trees and mountains, was popular in the Qianlong period and can be seen on other Imperial porcelain vessels; compare a square famille rose vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, dated 1745, and see the medallions on an openwork vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, dated 1743, illustrated by Liao Pao Show in Stunning Decorative Porcelains from the Ch'ien-lung Reign, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, Catalogue
nos.53 and 69. See also a pair of famille rose 'landscape' vases, Qianlong seal marks and period, from the J.T. Tai Collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7 October 2010, lot 2130; and anther famille rose quatrefoil vase, Qianlong mark and period, painted with landscape panels, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 April 2010, lot 1853.

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, 10 Nov 2011, New Bond Street  www.bonhams.com