Lot 3613. A fine copper-red glazed meiping, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 29.2 cm., 11 1/2 in. Estimate 900,000 — 1,200,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,240,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.
robustly potted with a tapered body sweeping up to broad shoulders, all surmounted by a waisted neck and a slightly flared lipped rim, the exterior applied overall with a lustrous deep red glaze thinning at the mouth, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character seal mark.
Note: Qianlong meiping covered in copper-red are relatively rare, and this vase is particularly notable for its large size. The use of the copper-red glaze at Jingdezhen was revived by the Kangxi emperor after the decline in usage during the late 15th, 16th and early 17th centuries. With the effort to reproduce classic Ming sacrificial-red (jihong) porcelains, Qing copper-red pieces quickly outnumbered their Ming counterparts. Nigel Wood in Chinese Glazes, London, 1999, p. 180, notes how the French Jesuit missionary, Pere Francois D’Entrecolles (b. 1664-1741) wrote letters giving detailed accounts of the copper-red production at Jingdezhen, the sourcing of the copper for the glaze, the recipes and the kiln location of the firing of these wares. D’Entrecolles was aware of the difficulties involved in the making of copper-red wares and his account confirms the high level of technical knowledge of the potters at Jingdezhen. See a Kangxi copper-red glazed meiping, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 21, together with a Yongzheng example, pl. 24.