Lot 154. A peachbloom-glazed brush washer (Tangluoxi), Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722). Diameter 4 7/8 in., 12.3 cm. Estimate 20,000 — 40,000 USD. Lot sold 87,500 USD. Photo Sotheby’s.
well potted with low rounded sides incurved at the mouth and supported on a low straight foot, the exterior covered with a characteristically mottled copper-red glaze around the rim transmuting to a strikingly bright speckled green emulating an unripe peach and back to a dusky red around the base, the interior and recessed base left white, the base inscribed with a six-character mark in underglaze blue.
Provenance: Acquired in San Francisco, California in the early 20th century and thence by descent.
Note: 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 made for the scholar’s table, including a beehive water pot by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., p. 237, no. 236.
Compare with examples of Kangxi-marked brush washers of this type from the collection of Edward T. Chow, sold most recently in our Hong Kong rooms, 8 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, 19 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 from the J.M. Hu collection on 9th October 2012, lot 105.
The profusion of the striking green flecks is rare among examples of peachbloom. Referred to as pingguo jing ‘apple green’, the spotted green mottling is possible through a technique using varied concentrations of copper that, when exposed during firing, oxidize to form green spots and modulation.
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 16 sept. 2014