A Guan-type vase, Seal mark and period of Yongzheng


Lot 3119. A Guan-type vase, Seal mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); 23.5 cm., 9 1/4 inEstimate 1,200,000 — 1,500,000 HKD (117,429 — 146,787 EUR). Lot sold 1,460,000 HKD (142,873 EUR). Photo: Sotheby's

the compressed globular body with flared sides rising to a waisted neck and an everted lipped rim, the high shoulder set with four small loop handles, covered overall in an even bluish-green glaze with a fine network of light brown crackles and iridescent undertones on the interior, the footrim left unglazed and dressed in dark brown, the slightly recessed base inscribed with the six-character mark in underglaze blue.

NoteThis charming vase is unusual for its form and no other example appears to have been published. It belongs to a group of wares that were inspired by archaic ritual bronze vessels and covered in glazes resembling bronze or in imitation of celebrated glazes to result in contemporary vessels that were rooted in tradition. The form of this vase is based on the fou of the Eastern Zhou period (770-256 BC) and is covered with a lustrous glaze to resemble the official 'Guan' ware of the Song dynasty (960-1279).

This piece is also notable for the seal mark and the unusual combination of straight and curved strokes attribute it to the early Yongzheng (see Zhu Yuping, Ming Qing cikuan pinjian, Taipei, 1997, p. 86). Yongzheng marks of this type can be found on a relatively small number of various vessels, including a group in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Qingdai yuyao ciqi, vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pls 200, 201, 204, 206; and a bowl sold three times in these rooms, most recently, 8th April 2011, lot 3033.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, Hong Kong, 04 Apr 2012