A rare triple mouth double-gourd Ru-type vase, seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)

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Lot 3033. A rare triple mouth double-gourd Ru-type vase, seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 20.1 cm., 7 7/8  in. Estimate 600,000 — 800,000 HKD. Lot sold 937,500 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's 2013

the three double-gourd vases conjoined together forming three globular lobes supported on a short trefoil foot, below a cinched waist and a slender upper bulb rising to three separate tubular necks, applied overall with an even caesious-coloured glaze finely suffused with a fine mist of bubbles and thinning to pale grey at the rims, the trefoil footring dressed in a brown wash, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character seal mark.

NoteTriple vases of this form, with finely trefoiled foot, are known in various greenish glazes inspired by Song dynasty guange, or Ru wares. See a vase with a crackled glaze described as ‘sky-blue’, probably from the Palace Museum collection, illustrated in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 446; another from the Meiyintang collection, sold in these rooms, 7th April 2011, lot 34; one without the distinctive crackle in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, included in He Li, Chinese Ceramics. A New Standard Guide, London, 1996, pl. 521; and a fourth example published in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1999, pl. 270. Two vases were also sold in our London rooms, 26th April 1966, lot 163 and 164; and another was sold in these rooms, 5th November 1996, lot 863.

For the Yongzheng prototype of this design, see one from the Herschel V. Johnson collection, sold in our London rooms, 21stFebruary 1967, lot 61; and a Jiaqing example sold in these rooms, 22nd May 1985, lot 240. 

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong, 08 april 2013