A Guan-type hu-form, Seal mark and period of Qianlong


Lot 3618. A Guan-type hu-form vase, Seal mark and period of Qianlong20 cm., 7 7/8  inEstimate 2,200,000 — 3,000,000 HKD (256,782 - 350,157 EUR). Unsold. Photo Sotheby's.

of archaistic hu formwell potted with a bulbous pear-shaped body elegantly rising from a slightly splayed foot to a waisted neck and flared rim, set with two stylised turtledove-shaped loop handles suspending mock rings interrupted by a subtle thin raised fillet bordering the neck, covered overall save for the unglazed footring with a pale caesius-coloured glaze suffused with a fine matrix of colourless and russet crackles, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character seal mark, wood stand.

ProvenanceA private European collection.
Christie's London, 14th May 2013, lot 249.

NotesCreated in imitation of Southern Song dynasty guan ware made for the court in the capital Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, the present vase is an exceptional example of the emperor's deep appreciation and respect for the past. The elegant form and moulded horizontal rib draws attention to the fine pale glaze and its attractive network of faint russet crackles. Vases of this type were first produced during the Yongzheng reign (1723-35) and are likely to be a product of Tang Ying (1682-1756), the superintendent of the Imperial kilns in Jingdezhen during the Yongzheng and early Qianlong periods, who introduced simplicity of form and absence of decoration as the new stylistic trend.

Two Qianlong mark and period vases of this type were sold in these rooms, the first, 18th May 1988, lot 234, and the second, 29th April 1997, lot 578; another was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 26th September 1989, lot 696; and a larger example was sold in these rooms, 24th November 1987, lot 138. For the Yongzheng prototype of this vase see one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 249, pl. 78.

Vases of this form are also known covered in various monochrome glazes, such as a tea-dust glazed example, from the Chang Foundation, illustrated in James Spencer, Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 156; another sold at Christie's New York, 26th March 2010, lot 1409; and a slightly smaller unmarked vase covered overall with a robin's egg glaze, illustrated in Qingdai ciqi shangjian [Appreciation of Qing dynasty porcelain], Shanghai, 1994, pl. 172. 

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