A fine copper-red glazed meiping, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)


Lot 3666. A fine copper-red glazed meiping, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795), 29 cm, 11 3/8  in. Estimate 700,000 — 900,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,125,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.  

the waisted lower body rising up to high shoulders and a short waisted neck below an everted rim, covered overall with an even copper-red glaze of burnt umber tone, the glaze neatly controlled under the mouth-rim and above the white recessed base, the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue

Note: The use of copper-red glaze at Jingdezhen was revived by the Kangxi Emperor after the decline in usage during the late 15th, 16th and early 17th centuries. With the effort to reproduce classic Ming sacrificial-red (jihong) porcelains, Qing copper-red pieces quickly outnumbered their Ming counterparts. Nigel Wood in Chinese Glazes, London, 1999, p. 180, notes how the French Jesuit missionary, Pere Francois D'Entrecolles (1664-1741) wrote letters giving detailed accounts of the copper-red production at Jingdezhen, the sourcing of the copper for the glaze, the recipes and the kiln location of the firing of these wares. D'Entrecolles was aware of the difficulties involved in the making of copper-red wares and his account confirms the high level of technical knowledge of the potters at Jingdezhen. Although copper-red pieces can be readily found from the Kangxi and Yongzheng periods, by Qianlong's reign they became fewer in number.

Qianlong meiping in copper-red glaze are rare, although a small number is recorded, ranging approximately between 23 and 32 cm in height. Compare a meiping in the Roemer Museum, Hildesheim, also with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, illustrated in Ulrich Wiesner, Chinesisches Porzellan, Mainz am Rhein, Hildesheim, 1981, pl. 99; a smaller example from the Jingguantang Collection (24 cm), sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 5th November 1997, lot 864; a slightly larger one from the collection of Professor Ross Edman (30.1 cm), sold in our New York rooms, 19th/20th March 2013, lot 205; and another larger example (31.1 cm), sold in these rooms, 8th April 2014, lot 3086. 

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