A flambé-glazed bottle vase, xianwenping, Incised seal mark and period of Yongzheng. Photo: Sotheby's.

the compressed globular body supported on a slightly flared foot, surmounted by tall cylindrical neck and upturned rim, encircled around the middle section by a double-horizontal rib and with five further ribs around the shoulder and neck, applied overall with a brilliant plum-coloured glaze accented with milky lavender-blue streaks drizzling down from the cream-rimmed mouth over the belly and foot, the underside dressed in a thin toffee-coloured glaze covering the incised four-character seal mark; 21.3 cm., 8 3/8  in. Estimate 1,200,000 — 1,800,000 HKD - Lot Sold: 1,480,000 HKD

Provenance: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2nd May 2000, lot 615

The Chinese term for vases of this ribbed form is xianwenping, or ‘string pattern vase’.  A much larger Yongzheng vase of this type was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 30th May 2006, lot 1255. Compare also a Ru-type vase, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s Special Exhibition of Qing Dynasty Monochromes, Taipei, 1981, cat. no. 79; and another, from the Huaihaitang collection, included in the exhibitionEthereal Elegance, Art Museum. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, cat. no. 20. The exhibition catalogue also illustrates a painting by Giuseppe Castiglione, Auspicious Bouquet, dated 1723, depicting a bouquet of flowers in a Songguan prototype to vases of this type. 

Further examples of the Song inspiration to the form of this vase, which in turn were inspired by ancient bronze hu vessels of the Han dynasty, from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, were included in the Museum’s Special Exhibition of Sung Dynasty Kuan Ware, Taipei, 1989, cat. nos. 21-23, 25-26.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong | 08 Oct 2013 -www.sothebys.com