Lot 358. A rare grisaille-decorated 'mallet' vase, Yongzheng period (1723-1735); 7 3/8 in. (18.3 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 40,000 - GBP 60,000. Price realised GBP 50,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2015.
The vase has a flat base and domed body rising to a tall cylindrical neck with a lipped mouth rim. The body is delicately decorated with an idyllic landscape with pavilions set against trees next to a fast flowing river inhabited by figures on boats and a further figure crossing a bridge.
Note: The current vase belongs to a well-known group of wares from the Yongzheng period, delicately painted in the grisaille palette, closely following traditional Chinese ink painting.
It was during the Yongzheng period that this type of decoration first appeared, most likely influenced by European sepia wares. Under the supervision of Superintendent Nian Xiyuao and Tang Ying (as listed by Xie Min, governor of Jianxi province between 1729 and 1734, in the Jiangxi Tongzhi, General Description of the Province of Jiangxi, published in 1732), porcelain wares decorated in black made their first appearance.
This new technique and style of decoration enabled the painter to closely follow the style of traditional Chinese landscape painting, with carefully rendered figures and clever use of shading to depict texture and light. Such wares were among the Yongzheng Emperor's favourites, reflecting his refined and scholarly taste; it also echoed his great fondness for traditional Chinese ink painting.
For a Yongzheng-marked brush pot painted in the grisaille palette, see Michel Beurdeley and Guy Raindre, Qing Porcelain, Famille Verte, Famille Rose, London, 1987, p. 96, pl. 133. For another brush pot, with 'painterly' landscapes in sepia, see Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, 1989, p. 239, pl. 68.
Compare also the style of painting on a Yongzheng-marked brush pot, decorated in grisaille with 'painterly' landscapes, sold at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 23 October 2005, lot 207.
A fine and rare faux-bois grisaille-decorated brushpot, mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); 18.3 cm., 7 1/4 in. Estimate 6,000,000 — 9,000,000 HKD. Lot sold 20,840,000 HKD at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 23 October 2005, lot 207. Photo: Sotheby's.
Two mallet-shaped vases of similar size painted in falangcai enamels with figures in landscapes in a similar style, formerly in the Alfred E. Hippisley and J. Insley Blair collections, are illustrated by Hippisley in A Catalogue of the Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelains: With A Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China, Washington, 1890, pl. 130 and A Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China, with a Catalogue of the Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelains, Washington, 1902, pl. 130, and later sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012, lots 2122 and 2123.
An important and very fine inscribed falangcai enamelled 'Lofty mountain' mallet-shaped vase, Yongzheng-Qianlong period (1723-1795); 7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) high. Sold for HKD 34,260,000 at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012, lot 2122. © Christie’s Images Limited 2012.
An important and very fine inscribed falangcai enamelled 'Beneath pine trees' mallet-shaped vase, Yongzheng-Qianlong period (1723-1795); 7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) high. Sold for HKD 35,380,000 at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012, lot 2123. © Christie’s Images Limited 2012.
See also a painted enamelled ‘Autumn Pavillion’ mallet shaped vase sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 May 2013, lot 2125.
A fine inscribed and enamelled 'Autumn pavilion' mallet-shaped vase, Qianlong period (1736-1795); 7 1/4 in. (18.5 cm.) high. Sold for HKD 7,830,000 at at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 May 2013, lot 2125. © Christie’s Images Limited 2013.
CHRISTIE'S. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS & WORKS OF ART, 10 November 2015, London, King Street