A pair of blue lacquered earthenware vases, in the manner of Martin Schell, possibly German, early 19th century. Photo Sotheby's

each of baluster form with a flared neck, the body painted with Chinese figures in a landscape amidst reserves of chrysanthemums, dragons and Chinese motifs, the rear with an exotic bird, the whole decorated in parcel-gilt, coral and silver on a royal blue ground, each 88cm. high; 2ft. 10½in. Estimate 25,000-35,000 GBP

Comparative Literature:
H. Huth, Lacquer of the West, Germany, 1971, figs. 182, 183, 185, 191.
M.Kopplin & G. Haase, Catalogue of the Exhibition, Sachlinbisch Lacquirte Sachen, Lackunst in Dresden unter dem Starken, at the Museum fur Lackkunst, 15th November 1998 - 18th April 1999, p. 4, fig.3,p.17, fig.8.

The form and lacquer decoration of these vases suggests that they were made in the manner of one of the pre-eminent Dresden lacquer-masters in the early 18th century Martin Schnell, who was hired by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony as 'court-lacquermaster'. It is interesting to note that between 1712 and 1716, he was employed by the Meissen porcelain factory to lacquer and decorate their wares with chinoiseries on red and blue ground. It is worthwhile comparing the chinoiserie decoration and the faces of the figures on these vases to those upon the side of the lacquer cabinet on stand by Martin Schnell, now in the Kunstgewerbe Museum in Hamburg.

Sotheby's. Arts of Europe. London | 10 Jul 2013, 02:00 PM www.sothebys.com