04 avril 2017

A 'powder blue'-glazed bottle vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

A 'powder blue'-glazed bottle vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Lot 1117. A 'powder blue'-glazed bottle vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722). Estimate 300,000 — 400,000 HKD. Lot sold 525,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

finely modelled of harmonious proportion, the spherical body rising from a short foot to a tall slender cylindrical neck and gently flared rim, the exterior applied with a rich powder-blue glaze mottled with attractive blue speckles, with traces of pencilled gilt decoration depicting phoenix and clouds to the globular body and a frieze of Buddhist lions and floral blooms to the shoulder, all below upright plantain lappets encircling the neck; 41.9 cm, 16 1/2  in.

ProvenanceCollection of J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), no. 1301.
J.J. Lally & Co., New York.

LiteratureStephen W. Bushell and William M. Laffan, Catalogue of the Morgan Collection of Chinese Porcelains, vol. 2, New York, 1907, pl. CX.

NoteGenerally referred to as ‘powder blue’, the attractive cobalt glaze on this piece was probably inspired by the so-called ‘snowflake’ blue glaze found on wares of the Xuande reign. The mottled effect was produced by blowing cobalt through a piece of bamboo with a gauze over the end. Wares covered in this glaze were either left undecorated or were painted in gilt over the glaze, as seen on this piece.

Numerous powder-blue vases of the Kangxi period with traces of gilding are in the Palace Museum, Beijing, including a vase of similar form illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Ceramics, vol. 23, Shunzhi and Kangxi Periods of Qing Dynasty (III), Beijing, 2013, pl. 79; one sold at Christie’s New York, 4th December 1982, lot 525; another sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 8th June 1986, lot 379; and a fourth vase sold at Christie’s London, 16th November 1981, lot 10. See also a vase of similar form but slightly larger in size, covered in a crackled light blue glaze, illustrated in The Freer Gallery of Art. I China, Washington D.C., 1972, pl. 129.

Sotheby's. Chinese Art from Two American Private Collections, Hong Kong, 05 Apr 2017, 10:30 AM

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