Lot 318. A peachblom-glazed brush washer, Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722). Diameter 4 3/4 in., 12.1 cm. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000 USD. Lot sold 175,000 USD. © Sotheby's
delicately potted with low rounded sides incurved at the mouth and supported on a low tapered foot, the exterior covered with a characteristically mottled crimson-red glaze transmuting to pale green tones particularly around the widest part of the body, speckled with tiny dots of emerald green, the interior and recessed base left white, the base with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue.
The Jie Rui Tang Collection.
Provenance: Collection of Diana D. Ashcroft.
Sotheby's London, 14 November 2000, lot 165.
Literature: Jeffrey P. Stamen and Cynthia Volk with Yibin Ni, A Culture Revealed: Kangxi-era Chinese Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection, Bruges, 2017, pl. 18.
Note: Peachbloom brush washers are rarely as successfully fired as the present piece, which is covered with a lustrous, vibrant copper-red glaze flecked with pale green. Notoriously difficult to achieve due to the temperamental nature of the copper pigment, the attractive glaze is only found on a small group of vessels for the scholar's table and is one of the most iconic groups of porcelain created under the Kangxi Emperor.
Copper-red glazes had been largely abandoned at Jingdezhen since the early Ming dynasty and were revived and drastically improved only during the Kangxi reign. Recent research by Peter Lam and other leading scholars indicate that the famous 'peachbloom' group was produced during the early years of the Kangxi period under the supervision of the skilled Zang Yingxuan, who was sent to Jingdezhen in 1681 to oversee the rebuilding of the kilns and serve as imperial supervisor. To manage the fugitive copper-lime pigment, it is believed to have been sprayed via a long bamboo tube onto a layer of transparent glaze and then fixed with another layer, so as to be sandwiched between two layers of clear glaze. The spotted green flecking, referred to as pingguo jing 'apple green', is possible through a technique using varied concentrations of copper that, when exposed during firing, oxidize to form green spots and modulation.
Examples of this celebrated type of peachbloom brush washer are represented in many of the world's finest museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Palace Museum, Beijing and the Sir Percival David Collection at the British Museum, London. The washer in the Metropolitan Museum is illustrated with a group of peachbloom-glazed vessels in Suzanne Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., p. 237, no. 236. A very similar washer with celadon-toned accents amidst the rose-pink glaze from Avery Brundage is now in the collection of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (coll. no. B60P1785).
Brush washer, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Kangxi mark and period (1662–1722). Porcelain with peachbloom glaze (Jingdezhen ware). H. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm); Diam: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm), H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929, 29.100.352 © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Water coupe or brush holder, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Reign of the Kangxi emperor (1662-1722), China, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Porcelain with "peach bloom" glaze. H. 1 1/2 in x Diam. 4 3/4 in, H. 3.8 cm x Diam. 12.1 cm. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60P1785 © San Francisco Asian Art Museum
A fine green-flecked Kangxi-marked brush washer of this type sold in these rooms on 16th September 2014, lot 154. Compare also examples sold from the collection of E. T. Chow, sold most recently in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th April 2009, lot 1657; another from the H.M. Knight collection, included in the exhibition 4000 Jaar Aziatische Kunst, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1954, cat. no. 300, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 19th May 1982, lot 263; and another vessel published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pl. 820. Other examples sold in our Hong Kong rooms on 5th October 2011, lot 1997 and one from the J.M. Hu collection on 9th October 2012, lot 105.
A peachbloom-glazed brush washer (Tangluoxi), Kangxi mark and period. Diameter 4 7/8 in., 12.3 cm. Sold for 87,500 USD at Sotheby's New York, 16th September 2014, lot 154.
From the Collection of Edward Chow. A fine peachbloom washer, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 11.5 cm., 4 1/4 in. Sold for 800,000 HKD at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8th April 2009, lot 1657.
Cf. my post: A fine peachbloom washer, Mark and period of Kangxi
A peachbloom brush washer, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 11.5 cm., 4 1/2 in. Sold for 740,000 HKD at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 5th October 2011, lot 1997.
Cf. my post: A peachbloom brush washer, Mark and period of Kangxi
From the J.M. Hu collection. An outstanding peachbloom washer, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 8.2 cm., 3 1/4 in. Sold for 3,380,000 HKD at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 9th October 2012, lot 105.
Sotheby's. KANGXI: The Jie Rui Tang Collection, New York, 20 March 2018, 11:00 AM