A rare pair of Imari armorial bottles and covers for the Portuguese market, Qing dynasty, Kangxi, circa 1720

Lot 86. A rare pair of Imari armorial bottles and covers for the Portuguese market, Qing dynasty, Kangxi, circa 1720; 22.3cm., 8 3/4 in. Estimate 30,000 — 40,000 GBP. Lot sold 72,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's 2007

each with ovoid body, rising from a short foot with recessed base to a short cylindrical neck, brightly enamelled to the front face with the arms of Sampaio Melo e Castro, the reverse with iron-red and gilt floral sprays, all below a floret and diaper band at the rim, the tall straight-sided cover similarly decorated . Quantity: 4. 

Note: For a very similar bottle and cover see one included in the exhibition Caminhos da Porcelana, Dinastias Ming e Qing, Fundacao Oriente, Lisbon, 1998, cat.no. 46, together with a cutlery box, pl. 44, a tea caddy, pl. 45, two coolers, pls. 47-48, and a plate, pl. 49 bearing the same arms. See another dish from the same service included in Nuno de Castro, Chinese Porcelain and the Heraldry of the Empire, p.65, where the author notes that this was the fourth service made for Francisco Jose de Sampaio Melo e Castro, 11th Lord of Vila Flor, Military Governor of the Alentejo, Councillor of State, 66th Governor and 40th Viceroy of India between 1720-1723. Sampaio Melo e Castro died in Goa in 1723.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, London, 16 May 2007