A copper-red 'dragon' vase, laibozun, mark and period of Kangxi

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Lot 2049. A copper-red 'dragon' vase, laibozun, mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 21.5 cm., 8 1/2 in. Estimate 600,000 — 800,000 HKD (57,843 — 77,125 EUR). Lot Sold 1,460,000 HKD (140,752 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.

of ovoid form with a short neck below a lipped mouthrim, the exterior freely painted with two dragons in vivid tones of copper-red, each with arms out-stretched, eyes picked out in blue and their scaly bodies leaping vigourously amid trailing flame swirls, covered overall in a transparent glaze stopping neatly at the foot, the slightly sunken base with a six-character underglaze-blue reign mark.

Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong, 2005.

Note: Dragon vases of this type appear with both underglaze-blue and copper-red decoration. Compare a related copper-red painted vase, with the dragon's eyes also picked out in blue, illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, vol. 2, Geneva, 1999, pl. 146; another in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, published in Rose Kerr, Chinese Ceramics. Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty, London, 1986, pl. 5; and a third from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, included in Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collection, vol. 6, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 208. A smaller vase of this design, but with a ribbed mouth, is illustrated in Ayer, op. cit., pl. 144.

Porcelain vase painted in underglaze red with a dragon design, China, Kangxi period, 1700-1720

Porcelain vase painted in underglaze red with a dragon design, China, Kangxi period, 1700-1720. Height: 22.4 cm. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Vase with two vertical five-clawed dragons, Qing dynasty, Kangxi mark and period, AD 1662–1722

Vase with two vertical five-clawed dragons, Qing dynasty, Kangxi mark and period, AD 1662–1722, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue and underglaze copper-red decoration. Height: 22,5 cm. On loan from Sir Percival David Foundation, PDF,B.663. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Compare also underglaze-blue decorated vases of this type, including one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 6; one in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Kangxi Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 12; another from the Wang Xin Lou collection, published in Imperial Perfection. The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors, Hong Kong, 2004, pl. 1; and a fourth example from the J.M. Hu Family Collection, sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1985, lot 23, and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 28thNovember 2006, lot 1317.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. Hong Kong. 05 Oct 2011