Lot 2371. A fine famille rose 'Bird and Flower' baluster vase, Daoguang period (1821-1850), four-character shendetang zhi mark in iron-red; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 1,000,000 - HKD 1,500,000. Price realised HKD 3,380,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2012
The vase is finely enamelled on the exterior with two swallows in flight above a flowering apricot tree beside ornamental rocks on a verdant ground. The body is further detailed with pomegranate flower sprays and the wannianqing plant. The mouth rim gilt and repeated in a single line on the base above the foot ring. The base is inscribed in iron-red with the hall mark Shendetang zhi, 'Made for the Hall of Cultivation of Virtue', Japanese wood box.
Provenance: An English private collection, Devon, circa 1948.
Note: The Shendetang hall mark is a dedication to the Hall for the Cultivation of Virtue, a summer residence of the Emperor Daoguang, where a range of dedicated fine porcelains was made to furnish this particular hall. See for example a vase decorated with various blossoming sprays emerging from rocks and with the same hall mark, in the Palace Museum, Beijing and illustrated in Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 190.
Compare also to an arm rest similarly decorated with two swallows on a tree and dated to the Guangxu period, in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, ibid., pl. 244.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 28 November 2012