Lot 1390. A small gilt-decorated café-au-lait-ground famille rose vase, Qianlong four-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795); 4 in. (10.2 cm.) high. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 60,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2018
The lobed vase is decorated on either side with a shaped panel of a mountainous landscape, reserved on a café-au-lait ground decorated in gilt with lotus scroll. The narrow neck is flanked by a pair of archaistic dragon handles, cloth box.
Note: The exceptionally small size of the present vase suggests that it was a novelty piece, and probably made for a treasure box or a small display cabinet. At the height of the Qianlong emperor's collecting activities, he amassed more than a million precious art objects, both from antiquity and by contemporary craftsmen. They filled imperial halls and palaces, while smaller objects, like the present vase, were ordered and stored in display cabinets or boxes of many treasures, baibao he. A variety of such boxes are in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, and are illustrated in One Hundred Pieces from the Palace Museum, 1990.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 - 14 September 2018