A fine and rare robin's-egg glazed bottle vase, Seal mark and period of Qianlong



Lot 3616. A fine and rare robin's-egg glazed bottle vase, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)24.8 cm., 9 3/4  inEstimate 4,000,000 — 6,000,000 HKD (466,877 - 700,315 EUR). Unsold. Photo Sotheby's

supported on a short spreading foot modelled with a raised fillet, elegantly potted with a slender waisted neck rising from a globular body to a slightly everted mouth, covered overall with a thick and unctuous mottled brown, lavender and turquoise glaze, the recessed base incised with a six-character seal mark, wood stand.

NotesInnovated during the Yongzheng period (1723-35) and particularly favoured by the Qianlong Emperor, the ‘robin’s egg’ glaze was created as a reinterpretation of Jun glazes of the Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. A development attributable to Tang Ying (1682-1756), the glaze was coined lu jun, or ‘furnace Jun’ because it was fired at a lower temperature than that of firing the porcelain. This glaze is mentioned on a stele inscribed by Tang Ying in Jingdezhen as one of the major types of ceramics that he succeeded in firing and proposed as suitable for regular delivery to the imperial court. The mottled turquoise effect on the present vase, achieved with the use of copper and arsenic, is particularly finely streaked and the shade is of a vivid light turquoise blue. While some quantities of vessels covered in this striking glaze were manufactured in the Imperial kilns, only the finest pieces bear a Yongzheng or Qianlong mark.

A closely related example was sold in our Los Angeles rooms, 5th-8th November 1979, lot 1779; and another was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 31st October 1994, lot 638.

Vases of this elegant form were produced in a variety of different glazes; a rich lapis blue-glazed example, from the Edward T. Chow collection, was sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 84; a pale blue-glazed vase, from the collection of the British Rail Pension Fund, was sold in our London rooms, 16th May 1989, lot 48; and a much larger example covered in a teadust glaze, from the collection of William O. Goodman, was sold in our London rooms, 1st June 1994, lot 302.

Sotheby'sImportant Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 07 oct. 2015, 02:30 PM