A 'bronze-imitation' tea-dust glazed and gilt-splashed 'chilong' bottle vase, seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)

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Lot 3649. A 'bronze-imitation' tea-dust glazed and gilt-splashed 'chilong' bottle vase, seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795). Estimate 600,000 — 800,000 HKD. Unsold. Photo Sotheby's.

of elegant pear shape, the compressed globular body rising from a short splayed foot to a tall cylindrical neck, covered overall in a gilt-speckled olive-green glaze, applied with a gilt-decorated archaisticchilong clambering around the tapering shoulder, the mythical beast finely detailed with a combed mane and a well-defined body terminating in a bifurcated tail sweeping up the slender neck, the base inscribed in gilt with a six-character seal mark, wood stand; 14.8 cm, 5 3/4  in.

ProvenanceAn old Japanese collection.

Notes: This vase is unusual for the finely gilded sinuous chilong applied on the shoulders of the vessel. This type of decoration is known on Longquan celadon vases from as early as the 8th century, although it gradually waned during the Ming dynasty and mainly used by potters in Dehua, Fujian province. This motif was revived at the beginning of the Qing dynasty, when sinuous chilong were applied on vases covered in a variety of glazes.

Compare a related vase sold in these rooms, 7th October 2015, lot 3682; a larger tea-dust glazed vase similarly applied with a chilong, but lacking the mark, illustrated in Qingdai taoci Daquan [An encyclopaedia of Qing porcelain], Taipei, 1989, pl. 99; another of facetted form, in the British Museum, London, published in Soame Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain. The Ch’ing Dynasty, London, 1951, pl. CV, no. 2a.

Sotheby's, Important Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 05 oct. 2016