Lot 2700. A large 'famille-rose' 'Nine dragon' vase, tianqiuping, seal mark and period of Qianlong, the enamels possibly later; 51cm., 20in. Estimate 2,500,000 — 3,000,000 HKD. Lot Sold 6,620,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's 2010.
the robustly-potted globular body rising from a recessed base to a tall slightly waisted cylindrical neck, brightly enamelled and gilded around the body and neck with nine ferocious scaly five-clawed dragons writhing and grappling with each other amidst fire scrolls, all reserved on a turquoise tumultuous foaming wave ground.
Note: Turquoise-ground wares became especially popular during the Qianlong emperor's reign but the present bold design and colouration is very rare. Compare a large cloisonné enamel vase of this form decorated overall with a closely related scene of nine writhing dragons on a crashing wave ground, illustrated in Zhongguo jin yin boli falang qu quanji, Shijiazhuang, 2002, pl. 278. For the possible inspiration, see a Yongzheng vase of this form decorated with nine dragons in silhouette in copper red amongst underglaze blue lingzhi scrolls, with a reign mark and of the period, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, included in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 190, pl. 19. See also a meiping, with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, enamelled with nine dragons in iron red on an underglaze blue crashing wave ground, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated ibid., p. 327, pl. 8.
For a baluster vase enamelled with two twisting dragons amongst clouds on a turquoise ground, with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, see one in the Tokyo National Museum, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics, vol. II, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 120; and its pair sold in these rooms, 2nd May 2005, lot 509.
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 08 Oct 10 11:00 AM, Hong Kong