06 avril 2018

Imperial Qing Ceramics From A Southeast Asian Collector sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012

This collection of fine Imperial Qing dynasty ceramics belongs to a successful businessman whose interest in ceramics emerged while accompanying business associates on visits to galleries and dealers in South Asia. The Collector took a scholarly approach as he began building his own collection over the next twenty years, focusing on the study and discussion of Chinese ceramics with other collectors and enthusiasts.

His search for refined pieces in good condition and with verifiable provenance led him to the top auction houses where he was attracted by the detailed research and attention to authenticity. Concentrating on pieces featuring the classic dragon motif, he curated his collection carefully focusing on delicate painting, glazes in beautiful colours, and in particular very fine potting. 

A yellow-ground green-enamelled 'dragon' bowl, Kangxi six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1662-1722)

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 Lot 2136. A yellow-ground green-enamelled 'Dragon' bowl, Kangxi six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1662-1722); 5 1/2 in. (14 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 350,000 - HKD 550,000Price realised HKD 680,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The bowl is finely potted with rounded sides rising to a slightly everted rim, supported on a cylindrical foot. It is incised and enamelled with a pair of striding dragons pursuing 'flaming pearls' above a wave border near the foot, all picked out in bright apple-green reserved on a lemon-yellow ground, Japanese wood box.

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

ProvenanceSold at Christie's Hong Kong, 2 May 1994, lot 736 

NoteA bowl of this same pattern and date was in the E.T. Hall Collection, no. 95, sold at Christie's London, 7 June 2004, lot 229. 

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Lot 2137. A fine and rare pink-enamelled saucer dish, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-squares and of the period (1723-1735); 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm.) diamEstimate HKD 700,000 - HKD 900,000Price realised HKD 3,140,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The dish is delicately potted with shallow, rounded sides rising to a slightly everted rim. The exterior is covered with a faintly mottled pink enamel and the interior and base are covered with a transparent glaze. 

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

Provenance: Nagatani Inc., Michigan, 1955
Stephen Junkunc, III
Sold at Christie's New York, 21 September 1995, lot 250 

Note: A similarly enamelled dish with the same mark is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and illustrated by Suzanne Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., p. 252, no. 256. A larger pink-enamelled dish (25 cm.) but with a Yongzheng mark within double-circles is in the Baur Collection, illustrated by John Ayers in The Baur Collection Chinese Ceramics, vol. III, Geneva, 1972, no. A481; and a pair is in the Percival David Foundation, now housed at the British Museum, illustrated by Rosemary Scott, Illustrated Catalogue of Ming and Qing Monochrome Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, 1989, p. 49, no. B532. 

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Lot 2138. A fine and very rare small white-glazed anhua-decorated cup, Yongzheng impressed four-character seal mark within a circle and of the period (1723-1735); 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 600,000 - HKD 800,000Price realised HKD 740,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The interior of the thin eggshell body is slip-decorated with a continuous scene of very delicately outlined cranes standing in a lotus pond. The cup is covered overall in an even white glaze with a faint bluish tinge, box.

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

Provenance: Sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 19 January 1988, lot 345; Christie's New York, 23 March 1995, lot 125  

Note: The present cup with its delicate lace-like slip-decoration beneath the white glaze is a very unusual decorative style in Qing period ceramics. This subtle technique enjoyed a brief popularity in the Yongzheng period among lighter-coloured glazes as exemplified by a yingqing-glazed bowl stand with slip designs of bats in flight, dating to the Yongzheng period, included in the exhibition Qingdai danseyou ciqi, Monochrome Porcelains of the Ch'ing Dynasty', National Palace Museum, 1981, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 113, no. 60. Slip-decoration was a technique commonly used in Song period Cizhou wares but it was later adopted by the imperial kilns during the Ming and Qing periods. An example of a white-glazed cup stand, slip-decorated on the interior with prunus blooms and dating to the Ming dynasty Chenghua period, from the Edward T. Chow collection was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1981, lot 455. By the Qianlong period, this method of decoration gave way to overglaze decorations with the advancement in the development of the famille rose palette, and in particular the improvement of white enamels. For Qianlong-marked bowl with white enamel decoration on a turquoise ground, see The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai wenwu chubanshe, 2003, p. 265.   

A fine doucai conical 'dragon' bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1723-1735)

A fine doucai conical 'dragon' bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1723-1735)

Lot 2139. A fine doucai conical 'Dragon' bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1723-1735); 7 5/8 in. (19.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 700,000 - HKD 900,000Price realised HKD 740,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012

The slightly rounded, conical sides are decorated to the exterior with two five-clawed dragons, one in green and the other in yellow tones, leaping amidst multi-coloured clouds and iron-red 'flaming pearls' above a band of foam-specked, wind-tossed waves in green enamels and underglaze-blue. The rim is moulded with six subtle notches beneath a narrow gilt band.

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

ProvenanceStephen Junkunc, III
Sold at Christie's New York, 21 September 1995, lot 256 

NoteA pair of similarly decorated covered bowls, from the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Forbidden City Press, 1989, p. 201, pl. 30; another pair with Yongzheng marks in standard script is illustrated in Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong Reigns, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 52; and a pair illustrated by S. Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain, London, 1951, pl. XCIV, fig. 3, was sold at Christie's New York, 28 June 1984, lot 448.

A fine yellow-enamelled blue and white 'Dragon' bowl, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795)

2012_HGK_02963_2140_001(a_fine_yellow-enamelled_blue_and_white_dragon_bowl_qianlong_six-charac)

Lot 2140. A fine yellow-enamelled blue and white 'Dragon' bowl, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); 5½ in. (14 cm.) diamEstimate HKD 350,000 - HKD 550,000Price realised HKD 400,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The bowl is potted with rounded sides rising to a slightly everted rim, decorated around the exterior with two five-clawed dragons running through clouds and flame-scrolls in pursuit of 'flaming pearls', all above a band of overlapping lotus petals encircling the foot. The interior is further decorated with a central medallion enclosing a third dragon, all enamelled in pale lemon-yellow reserved on a blue wash ground.

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

ProvenanceSold at Christie's Hong Kong, 25 October 1993, lot 820.

A fine pair of yellow-ground green-enamelled 'Dragon' foliate dishes, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795)

Lot 2141. A fine pair of yellow-ground green-enamelled 'Dragon' foliate dishes, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); 5¼ in. (13.5 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 500,000 - HKD 700,000Price realised HKD 860,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012  

Each dish is finely potted with rounded sides rising to a foliate rim, enamelled to the interior with a five-clawed front-facing dragon and a 'flaming pearl' within a medallion, surrounded by two striding dragons pursuing 'flaming pearls' around the well, all in green enamels against a yellow ground, the pattern repeated on the reverse side. The double-line borders are outlined with aubergine enamel (2). 

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector 

Provenance: Sold at Christie's New York, 18 March 1991, lot 612; Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 1994, lot 571.

Note: A pair of dishes of this pattern, but with a frieze of detached flower sprays on the reverse, replacing the dragons, from the T. Y. Chao Collection, was exhibited at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ch'ing Porcelain from the Wah Kwong Collection, 1973, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 41; and a single dish was included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition, Splendour of the Qing Dynasty, 1992, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 155. Another pair of dishes of identical design was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 October 2001, lot 828. 

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Lot 2142. A fine yellow-ground green-enamelled 'Dragon' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850); 5¾ in. (14.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000Price realised HKD 175,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The bowl is incised and enamelled to the exterior with two five-clawed dragons striding in pursuit of 'flaming pearls', all in apple-green on an even yellow ground. The interior and base are covered with a transparent glaze.

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector

Provenance: Sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 25 October 1993, lot 826.

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Lot 2143. A fine pair of imperial incised yellow glazed 'dragon' dishes, Daoguang marks and of the period (1821-1850); 6 3/4 in. (17.2 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 220,000 - HKD 280,000. Price Realised HKD 250,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

Each dish is finely incised in the centre with a leaping five-clawed dragon in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl' amid clouds, all within a single incised line border. The exterior is incised with two further dragons striding in pursuit of pearls. The dishes are covered overall with a rich egg-yolk-yellow glaze (2).

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector 

Provenance: Sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 1994, lot 630.

A fine pair of wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' bowls, Daoguang six-character seal marks and of the period (1821-1850)

Lot 2144. A fine pair of wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' bowls, Daoguang six-character seal marks and of the period (1821-1850); 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 240,000 - HKD 350,000. Price Realised HKD 524,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

Each bowl is brightly enamelled to the exterior with two scaly five-clawed dragons in pursuit of the 'flaming pearl', alternating with descending long-tailed phoenix. The mythical creatures are set amidst meandering leafy scrolls below a band containing the Eight Buddhist Emblems, Bajixiang, at the rim. The interiors are decorated with a central medallion enclosing a five-clawed dragon in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl', Japanese wood box (2).

The Property of a Southeast Asian Collector 

Provenance: Sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 2 May 1994, lot 750.

Note: A pair of bowls of this pattern was included in the exhibition, The Wonder's of the Potter's Palette, Qing Ceramics from the Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1984, no. 100; and a single example from the Simon Kwan Collection was included in the exhibition, Imperial Porcelain of Late Qing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1983, no. 44. A set of four Daoguang-marked bowls of this same design was sold at Christie's New York, 24-25 March 2011, lot 1727, and another pair was sold at Christie's New York, 15 Spetember 2011, lot 1638.

A wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' bowl, Guangxu six-character and of the period (1875-1908)

2012_HGK_02963_2145_001(a_wucai_dragon_and_phoenix_bowl_guangxu_six-character_mark_and_of_the)

Lot 2145. wucai 'Dragon and Phoenix' bowl, Guangxu six-character and of the period (1875-1908); 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 100,000 - HKD 150,000. Price Realised HKD 106,250© Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The base is brightly enamelled to the exterior with two scaly five-clawed dragons in pursuit of the 'flaming pearl', alternating with descending long-tailed phoenix. The mythical creatures are set amidst meandering leafy scrolls below a band containing the Eight Buddhist Emblems, Bajixiang, at the rim.

ProvenanceThe Yangzhitang Collection of Imperial Porcelain of the Late Qing Dynasty, sold at Christie's Singapore, 30 March 1997, lot 399.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 28 November 2012, Hong Kong


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