A peachbloom-glazed beehive waterpot, Mark and period of Kangxi

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Lot 3662. A peachbloom-glazed beehive waterpot, Mark and period of Kangxi, 12.5 cm, 4 7/8  in. Estimate 150,000 — 200,000 HKD. Lot sold 437,500 HKD. Photo Sotheby's.

of classic domed 'taibai zun' form, with a rounded shoulder and short waisted neck, the exterior evenly applied overall save for the rim and base with a pale greyish-red glaze suffused with sprinkles imitating the skin of a peach, the body further incised with three stylised archaistic dragon roundels.

NoteWaterpots of this glaze and form are known in important museums and collections around the world, including one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 142, pl. 125; one in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 206; another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, included in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, p. 237; and a fourth example from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, published in Illustrated Catalogue of Ming and Qing Wares, London, 1989, pl. 580, and also illustrated on the front cover. 

The Tang dynasty poet Li Bai (701-762), known as a notorious drinker, is often depicted leaning against a wine jar of this form, for example, in a porcelain sculpture of the same period which shows the poet seated with closed eyes and a cup in hand, illustrated in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collectionop. cit., p. 106, pl. 89.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 03 Oct 2017