A fine Ru-type fanghu vase, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795)

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Lot 519. A fine Ru-type fanghu vase, Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795). Height 5 5/8  in., 14.4 cm. Estimate USD 80,000 — 120,000Lot sold 100,000 USD. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019

the faceted pear-shaped body rising from a short foot to a tapering neck, set to each side with a cylindrical lug handle, applied overall with a fine caesious-colored glaze stopping neatly just above the foot, the foot ring applied with a dark brown dressing, the base with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue

Provenance: Collection of Stephen Junkunc III (d. 1978).

Note: This charming vase, of archaistic fanghu-form, is made in imitation of the highly-treasured Ru ware of the Song dynasty. The Qianlong Emperor was declarative about his fondness of Imperial ceramic wares of the Song dynasty (960-1279) going as far as to having many of the pieces in the Qing Court Collection inscribed with poems he had written extolling their virtues. During his reign, glazes imitating Jun, Ding, Guan, Ge and Ru wares, known as the five ‘official’ wares of the Song dynasty, were recreated in forms relating closely to their Song prototypes, such as the present example. The high level of skill and keen attention to detail in simulating the distinctive characteristics of Song Imperial ware is evidenced in the soft, unctuous quality of the luminous glaze and at the foot which has been left unglazed and stained dark brown.

Compare a Qianlong Ru-type vase of related hu form in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 216. There is also a closely related example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in the Illustrated Catalogue of the Ch'ing Dynasty in the National Palace Museum. Ch'ien-lung Ware and Other Wares, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 82; another included in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva, vol. III, Geneva, 1972, pl. 344; two illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pls 874 and 875; and two included in the exhibition Imperial Monochromes. The Zande Lou Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2005, cat. no. 32. See also a vase from the Dr. Carl Kempe Collection, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Ju and Kuan Wares, London, 1952, cat. no. 108, sold in our Paris rooms, 12th June 2008, lot 3317, and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th November 2011, lot 3317. Two vases of this type sold in our London rooms: one from the collection of E.G. Kostolany sold 16th May 2012, lot 166, and another on 6th November 2013, lot 161.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 22 March 2019