A 'Famille-Rose' brushpot with Imperial inscriptions, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period

A 'Famille-Rose' brushpot with Imperial inscriptions, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period

Lot 3033. A 'Famille-Rose' brushpot with Imperial inscriptions, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (1736-1795); 9.8 cm., 3 7/8  in. Estimate 2,500,000 — 3,500,000 HKD. Lot sold 4,600,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

of hexagonal form supported on three short bracket feet, delicately enamelled on three sides with a spray of chrysanthemum, a sprig of peach blossoms and a cluster of narcissus, alternating with three-column poems written in black enamel in standard clerical and archaic script, each pertaining to one of the flowers and signed with two red seals Qianand long, each within a recessed lobed cartouche edged in gilt and reserved on a white ground of detached flower sprigs wreathed in scrolling foliage, between a ring of sky-blue bats above and six peaches below, the interior enamelled in pale turquoise, the rim gilt, huanghuali hexagonal stand.

Provenance: Collection of Edward T. Chow. 

Note: A greater sense of three-dimensionality and charm has cleverly been achieved on the present piece through the slightly recessed panels containing the floral scenes and inscription. A slightly smaller brushpot of this type was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 2nd October 1991, lot 1711, and again in these rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 2068. Compare a Qianlong mark and period hexagonal brushpot of broader proportions decorated with alternating designs of flowers and inscription, but lacking the recessed panels and floral scroll, in the Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, illustrated in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p. 316. 

Porcelains with shaped panels resembling windows decorated with floral or figural scenes are characteristic of the Qianlong period, although the style appears to have been first explored under the Yongzheng emperor. Compare a brushpot of related hexagonal form painted with alternating panels of figures in landscapes and inscriptions sold in our London rooms, 17th November 1970, lot 170; and another of rectangular section in the Palace Museum, Beijing, enamelled in grisaille on two sides with scholars in a mountainous landscape and with two famille-rose panels of flower sprays painted in the 'boneless' style, illustrated inThe Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 53. 

The three poems are extracts of the set of twelve poems inscribed by the Qianlong Emperor on an album of flowers by the court artist Zou Yigui (1686-1772) and titled Ti Zou Yigui Huahui Shier Fu. These poems are recorded in the Qing Gaozong yuzhi shiwen quanji [Anthology of Imperial Qianlong Poems], Leshantang quanji dingbenjuan 28, p. 43 and were composed before February 1794. 


Yuzhi Leshan Tang Quanji Dingben [Definitive Edition of the Complete Works by His Majesty 3033 from the Hall of Pleasure in Goodness], Juan 28, PP. 9-10

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 08 oct. 2013