A rare guan-type octagonal lobed vase. Jiaqing seal mark and periodPhoto Sotheby"s

the low octagonal foot supporting the compressed globular body of eight bracket-lobed section and rising to a tall straight neck encircled by two raised rings below the slightly everted dish mouth, applied overall with a rich and lustrous pale blue-gray glaze suffused with a light crackle in imitation of Song Dynasty Guan ware, the unglazed footring with a dark brown wash, seal mark in underglaze blue. Height 8 1/4 in., 21 cm. Estimate 250,000-300,000 USD

NOTE: A closely related vase is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pl. 881. For Qianlong mark and period examples of this type, see one in the Huaihaitang collection, included in the exhibition Ethereal Elegance, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, cat. no. 27; a pair from the Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Hu collection and now in the Shanghai Museum, included in the exhibition Qing Imperial Monochromes. The Zande Lou Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2005, cat. no. 29; a single vase sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th April 2010, lot 1922; and another sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2007, lot 1536. 

This vase has been inspired by the Guan prototype of the Song dynasty. While the angular shoulders of the original have been softened and subtle lobes added, it retains the octagonal form, ribbed neck and everted mouth to result in a piece that both celebrates the revered imperial ware of the Song dynasty while contemporary to the taste of its time. 

For examples of the Song original see two in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum. Kuan Ware of the Sung Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1962, pls 9 and 10. 

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York | 20 Mar 2012  www.sothebys.com