Lot 1919. A fine and magnificent blue and white vase, tianqiuping, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 54.6 cm., 21 1/2 in. Estimate 20,000,000 — 25,000,000 HKD (1,928,116 — 2,410,145 EUR. Lot Sold: 30,900,000 HKD (2,978,939 EUR). Photo Sotheby's
the globular body exquisitely painted with a wide composite floral scroll with large and small blooms amidst curled leaves, including lotus, peony, hibiscus, and chrysanthemum flowers between a band of upright lappets encircling the slightly recessed foot and a border of blue-ground pendant ruyi heads, with reserved designs, enclosing alternately floral medallions and whorls, below a band within double-line borders with formal foliate designs divided by stylised florets at the shoulder, all below a columnar, slightly flaring neck further painted with an undulating leafy lotus scroll below a rolling wave border at the mouth, the base inscribed with a six-character reign mark.
Provenance: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 13th November 1990, lot 234.
Literature: Sotheby's Hong Kong – Twenty Years, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 165.
Note: Impressive large blue and white vases of this form were made in a variety of design band decoration around the shoulder and neck, while the main motif on the body remains united with an elaborate composite flower scroll inspired by Ming prototypes. For example, see a Qianlong mark and period vase illustrated in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, pl. 232; one sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 20th March 1990, lot 594; and two further related vessels offered in these rooms, 30th April 1996, lot 436 and 29th April 1997, lot 626.
For the Ming inspiration of the painted decoration see a Yongle meiping in the Shanghai Museum illustrated in Wang Qingzheng, Underglaze Blue and Red, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 53; and another early Ming vase finely painted in classic contrasting tones of dark cobalt blue with scrolling meander of leafy stems and flower blooms, in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., published in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, 1980-82, vol. 9, pl. 92.