A rare enamelled 'figures and landscape' glass cup, blue enamel mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)

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Lot 3620. A rare enamelled 'figures and landscape' glass cup, blue enamel mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795). Estimate 17,000,000 — 20,000,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

of guyuexuan ('ancient moon pavilion') type, with deep rounded sides resting on a short foot, the exterior finely enamelled with an idyllic setting detailed with a river stream surrounded by tall overhanging trees and mountainous cliffs, the scene further set with architectural elements such as pavilions and bridges, two figures depicted conversing with each other on a bridge, another solitarily seated at one end of a boat and fishing, the base enamelled in blue with a four-character reign mark within a double-square; 6.8 cm, 2 5/8  in.

ProvenanceChristie’s New York, 4th June 1987, lot 327.
Jingguantang collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 3rd November 1996, lot 509.  

NotesIt is rare to find glass wares enamelled with landscape designs, and this cup, decorated with such a 'painterly' landscape, represents wares possibly inspired by traditional handscroll paintings made by court artists in the Imperial workshops. This type of enamelled landscape decoration on glass found its greatest expression on a small number of enamelled glass wares inscribed with wheel-cut four-character Qianlong marks, including two glass cups in the Percival David Foundation, London, illustrated in Illustrated Catalogue of Qing Enamelled Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, Revised Edition 1991, p. 32, nos. 850 and 851, and two 'landscape' brushpots, one from the Percival David Foundation, illustrated ibid. p.36, no. 854, and another from the collection of J. Insley Blair, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2012, lot 2124.

Glass water-pot of ovoid shape with flat base and small contracted mouth, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795)

Glass water-pot of ovoid shape with flat base and small contracted mouth, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795), Percival David Foundation, PDF.864© Trustees of the British Museum

Glass brush-pot of tall cylindrical form with flat base, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795), Percival David Foundation, PDF

Glass brush-pot of tall cylindrical form with flat base, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795), Percival David Foundation, PDF.854© Trustees of the British Museum

A magnificent imperial falangcai enamelled glass brush pot, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795)

A magnificent imperial falangcai enamelled glass brush pot, Qianlong incised four-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1736-1795). Price Realised  HKD 48,820,000 (USD 6,329,982) at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2012, lot 2124. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2012.

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An enamelled glass bottle vase, similarly decorated with a vivid continuous landscape design, but differing from the current cup in being inscribed with a Qianlong seal mark in red enamel, formerly in the collection of Dunan Beresford-Jones, was sold at Christie's London, 6th June 2000, lot 208, and again in these rooms, 2nd May 2005, lot 553. (Image: A rare Beijing enamelled opaque white glass amphora, iron-red Qianlong sealmark and of the period (1736-1795). Price Realised  GBP 1,762 (USD 2,668) at Christie's London, 6th June 2000, lot 208. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2000).

For enamelled glass wares similarly inscribed with four-character Qianlong marks in blue enamel, but not within a double square, compare two vases decorated with pheasants and flowers, one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhang Rong, ed., Luster of Autumn Water. Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshops, Beijing, 2005, pp. 250-251, pl. 84, the other sold in these rooms, 11th April 2008, lot 2846, and offered again in this sale, lot 3621.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 05 oct. 2016, 02:30 PM