A pair of blue and white beaker vases, gu, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Lot 209. A pair of blue and white beaker vases, gu, Kangxi period (1662-1722). The largest 46cm (18 1/8in) high. (2). Estimate £9,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 14,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Both with channelled rims and deftly painted around the exteriors in vibrant hues of cobalt-blue with various scenes, the upper register of one vase with armed soldiers, the middle section with gentleman drinking around a board game, the lower register with elegant ladies in a garden and pavilion playing chess, the other vase decorated on the upper register with court musicians accompanying a court lady and phoenix, the middle register with ladies engaged in the four scholarly arts, the lower register with scholars and attendants amidst gnarled pine trees.

Provenance: an Italian private collection

Note: During the Kangxi period it was fashionable to depict warriors and scenes from popular novels such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, or Outlaws of the Marsh. The majority of the images on porcelain are derived from woodblock illustrations. Compare with a related motif on a vase, Kangxi, illustrated in Seventeenth Century Jingdezhen Porcelain from the Shanghai Museum and the Butler Collections, Shanghai, 2005, pp.270-271, no.97.