A rare copper-red 'dragon' vase, laifuzun, Mark and period of Kangxi


Lot 3181. A rare copper-red 'dragon' vase, laifuzun, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 22.1 cm., 8 3/4  in. Estimate 1,400,000 - 1,800,000 HKD. Lot sokd 2,320,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's  2013.

of tapered ovoid form with a short neck below a lipped mouthrim, the exterior freely painted with two five-clawed dragons in vivid tones of copper-red, each with arms outstretched, eyes picked out in blue and their scaly bodies leaping vigourously among trailing flames, covered overall in a transparent glaze stopping neatly at the foot, the concave base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark.

Note: Dragon vases of this type appear with both underglaze-blue and copper-red decoration. Compare a related copper-red painted vase, with the dragon's eyes also picked out in blue, illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, vol. 2, Geneva, 1999, pl. 146; another in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, published in Rose Kerr, Chinese Ceramics. Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty, London, 1986, pl. 5; and a third from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, included in Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collection, vol. 6, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 208. A further example sold in these rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 2049. A smaller vase of this design, but with a ribbed mouth, is illustrated in Ayers, op. cit., pl. 144.

Compare also underglaze-blue decorated vases of this type, including one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 6; one in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Kangxi Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 12; another from the Wang Xin Lou collection, published in Imperial Perfection. The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors, Hong Kong, 2004, pl. 1; and a fourth example from the J.M. Hu Family Collection, sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1985, lot 23, and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 28thNovember 2006, lot 1317.

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