Lot 2520. A rare Canton enamel 'European subject' vase, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm.) high. Estimate 350,000 - HKD 450,000. Price realised 500,000 HKD. © Christie's Images Ltd 2008.

The flaring sides superbly enamelled on one side with a cartouche depicting a river landscape scene, detailed with a European gentleman dressed in breeches and wearing an unbuttoned yellow jacket, holding a tricorn hat in one hand, the other clutching a long stick, leaning in an animated stance toward his attentive dog, the reverse side similarly decorated, all against a dense network of scrolling rosettes on a stippled turquoise-ground, repeated on the angled shoulder and the tapered cylindrical neck, divided with a bands of black spirals against a yellow-ground at intervals, the elegant neck flanked by a pair of stylised scroll-form handles, enamelled in blue, raised on a splayed foot, the interior and underside of the base with white enamel, the base bearing the reign mark in blue enamel.

The mirror image pair to the present vase is in the British Museum, London, illustrated by S. Jenyns and W. Watson, Chinese Art II, Rizzoli, New York, 1980, p. 162, pl. 113 (see fig. 1). 


Canton enamel 'European and dog on flower background' vase, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795), British Museum, 1948,1020.5. © 2017 Trustees of the British Museum.

A related vase of similar design but with cartouches against a yellow-ground in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, 1999, no. 120/141. A group of similarly decorated 'European-subject in landscape' vases are in the Beijing Palace Museum collection, cf. Splendors of a Flourishing Age, Macao, 2000, nos. 73, 79, 80, and 81. 

Christie'sImportant Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 3rd December 2008