An exquisite peach-shaped Guan-type brush washer, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1723-1735)


Lot 3637. An exquisite peach-shaped Guan-type brush washer, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1723-1735), 21.6 cm, 8 1/2 in. Estimate 2,500,000 — 3,500,000 HKD. Lot sold 3,460,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.  

the asymmetrical shallow bowl forming the outline of a peach with unevenly furled sides, the handle formed from a gnarled tree branch set with a plump peach, a lingzhi and curled leaves, all beneath an opaque milky blue-green glaze with faint crackles, thinning at the edges of the leaves and branches to reveal a dark body, fired on four spurs revealing the porcelain body beneath, the underside modelled with a shallow groove characteristic of peaches, marked on the base with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue, wood stand

ProvenanceCollection of Edward T. Chow (1910-80).
Collection of J.M. Hu (1911-95).
Sotheby's New York, 4th June 1985, lot 59.
Christie's Hong Kong, 28th April 1996, lot 58.
The Meiyintang Collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7th April 2011, lot 37.

LiteratureHelen D. Ling and E.T. Chow, Collection of Chinese Ceramics from the Pavilion of Ephemeral Attainment, Hong Kong, 1950, vol. IV, no. 175.
Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 4, no. 1800.

NoteThis brush washer closely follows a Yongzheng prototype and is likely to have been made early in the Qianlong period. This is suggested also by the fact that on this piece the potters deliberately chose and varied the types of clay they used, so as to make the applied branch and leaves appear more naturalistic. A closely related, but somewhat larger Yongzheng washer in the Palace Museum, Beijing, from the Qing court collection, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 207, together with a somewhat different smaller Qianlong version, for which no dark clay was used, pl. 217, and a crackle-glazed version with a neifu mark incised on the base, probably after firing, pl. 232, both of which would seem to postdate the present example.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 05 Apr 2017