A fine doucai “lotus” vase with kuilong-shaped handles, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795)

The star lot was a fine doucai “lotus” vase with kuilong-shaped handles, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795) which sold for HK$15,525,000/ US$1,990,385 after furious bidding, nearly doubling the pre-sale high estimate. Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

HONG KONG.- Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong held its Spring Auction at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong from 29 to 30 May 2016. Over 500 lots of imperial Chinese ceramics and works of art, classical and modern paintings, tea wares and scholar’s objects were presented.  

The star lot was a fine doucai “lotus” vase with kuilong-shaped handles, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795) which sold for HK$15,525,000/ US$1,990,385 after furious bidding, nearly doubling the pre-sale high estimate. This magnificent vase is decorated with lotus scrolls and a band of ruyi-heads on both its rim and shoulder. Its neck is flanked by elaborate kui dragon handles painted in iron-red and decorated with auspicious emblems. Such colourful and intricate designs displaying the best of ancient and innovative crafts make this vase a key example of imperial ceramics in the Qianlong period.  

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Lot 730. A fine doucai “lotus” vase with kuilong-shaped handles, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795). Estimate HK$6,000,000 ~ 8,000,000. Lot sold HK$15,525,000 (US$1,990,385). Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

Another important offering was a pair of gilt-decorated blue-glazed "longevity" vases, Daoguang period (1821-1850), “Shen De Tang Zhi” mark (Made for the Hall for the Cultivation of Virtue) which fetched HK$3,220,000/ US$412,821. The vases are decorated in gilt reserved on a rich blue ground, with auspicious motifs showing the remarkable artistry and technical skill of porcelain with the “Shen De Tang” hallmark. 

A pair of gilt-decorated blue-glazed 'longevity' vases, Daoguang period (1821-1850), 'Shen De Tang Zhi' mark (Made for the Hall for the Cultivation of Virtue)

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Lot 733. pair of gilt-decorated blue-glazed "longevity" vases, Daoguang period (1821-1850), “Shen De Tang Zhi” mark (Made for the Hall for the Cultivation of Virtue). Estimate HK$2,500,000 ~ 3,500,000. Sold for HK$3,220,000 (US$412,821)Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

A gold-decorated Yixing “bats and flowers” teapot and cover, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795) achieved HK$2,357,500/ US$302,244. With an elaborate yet delicate design, this teapot and cover not only showcases Japanese artistic styles, but also the Chinese artisans’ superb artistry. 

A gold-decorated Yixing 'bats and flowers' teapot and cover, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795)

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Lot 727. A gold-decorated Yixing “bats and flowers” teapot and cover, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795). Estimate HK$ 2,000,000 ~ 2,200,000. Lot sold HK$2,357,500 (US$302,244)Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

The second top lot was Year of the Great Harvest by Qi Baishi (1863-1957) sold for HK$4,715,000/ US$604,487. This excellent work was painted to celebrate the abundance of crops gathered in the season. The foreground shows three rats gathering under a ripe rice stalk to munch the fallen grains, while another two are quickly approaching from the background to join the feast. Rats eating crops is not a particularly pleasant scene, but Qi did not let the stereotype affect his choice of subject. Under his brush, the scene becomes an adorable, almost comical snippet from nature. 

Qi Baishi (1863-1957), Year of the Great Harvest, 133×35cm

Lot 285. Qi Baishi (1863-1957), Year of the Great Harvest133×35cm. Estimate HK$ 2,800,000 ~ 5,000,000. Lot sold HK$4,715,000(US$604,487)Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

Beautiful streams and mountains by Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) (HK$3,622,500/ US$464,423) was the third top lot. Painted in the 17th year of the Jiajing period (1538), this great work was seen and praised by numerous renowned artists and critics in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Elegantly rendered with mineral colours, it depicts classical scenery with towering trees and rolling hills overshadowing cottages, whilst a gentle breeze is blowing from mountains afar. 

Autumn landscape in the style of Mi Fu by Dong Qichang (1555-1636) (HK$3,565,000/ US$457,051) was collected by numerous celebrated Chinese and Japanese collectors, including Huang Dejun, Wu Yuanhui, Fang Junyi, Luo Zhengyu, Kunoshi Huang Changyi, Naito Konan and the Iida family, who founded the Takashimaya department store chain. 

Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Autumn landscape in the style of Mi Fu

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Lot 63. Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Autumn landscape in the style of Mi Fu91.5 × 39.5cm. Estimate 1,800,000 - 3,200,000. Lot sold HK$3,565,000 (US$457,051)Courtesy Tokyo Chuo Auction Hong Kong

Also of note were Peacocks under the parasol tree by Shen Quan (1682-1760) which achieved HK$2,875,000/ US$368,590, four times the pre-sale high estimate, and Poem in running script calligraphy by Wang Duo (1592-1652) (HK$2,070,000/ US$265,385).