17 mars 2019

A rare and important pair of famille-verte meiping, Qing dynasty, dated Xinsi year, corresponding to 1701

A rare and important pair of famille-verte meiping, Qing dynasty, dated Xinsi year, corresponding to 1701



Lot 336. A rare and important pair of famille-verte meiping, Qing dynasty, dated Xinsi year, corresponding to 1701. Height 12 in., 30.5 cm. Estimate: US$80,000 - US$120,000Lot Sold 100,000 US$. Courtesy Sotheby's.

each superbly potted with a well-proportioned rounded shoulder tapering to a low, splayed base and surmounted by a short waisted neck with a gently flaring rim, the baluster body vibrantly enameled with similar scenes of scholars paying homage, in one a kneeling scholar presents credentials near a court attendant reading from a scroll, all observed by further scholars, attendants and guards; the other portraying two red-bearded foreigners showing deference, one presenting a jue, the other a boot, both within a lavish interior cleverly outlined by a voluminous drapery swag swept back to one side and the strong diagonal lines of the tiled roof to the other, the reverse with vertical rockwork of varying greens and tall leafy trees, all set between a band of striding chilong on a fish-roe ground and a chevron band around the rim, and florets on a pale green stippled ground over a narrow border of overlapping petals encircling the foot, the base inscribed xinsi nian zhi in underglaze blue (2), coll. nos 580, 581.

ProvenanceCollection of Mrs. Collis P. Huntington (1851-1924).
Collection of Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955).
Duveen Brothers, New York.
Collection of The Norton Simon Foundation, 1964.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 7th-8th May 1971, lot 28.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York. 
Collection of David A. Berg.
Christie's New York, 21st September 2000, lot 328.
Marchant, London, 2002.

ExhibitedPorcelain Through the Ages, Sassoon House, London, March 1934.
Iranian Institute, New York, 1944.
Recent Acquisitions, S. Marchant & Son, London, 2001, cat. no. 10

LiteratureEdgar Gorer and J. F. Blacker, Chinese Porcelain and Hardstones, Vol. I, London, 1911, pl. 118.
Jeffrey P. Stamen, Cynthia Volk with Yibin Ni, A Culture Revealed, Kangxi-Era Chinese Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection, Bruges, 2017, cat. no. 31.

Note: Examples of dated Kangxi wares are quite rare and present an opportunity to better understand the evolution of stylistic and technical achievements during an era famous for innovation and change. The present lot represents a peak of porcelain production at the turn of the 17th century which is evident in the sophisticated use of layering in the form, composition and enameling of the vases. The meiping form is strengthened by the additional splay of the foot with lappet decoration creating the illusion of a support for the vase. The composition of the painted subject matter brilliantly conforms to the shape of the vase with the main action taking place within the widest section. The intense layering of color and design within the scene by means of linear perspective, contrasting tones and rich enameling, serve to heighten both the narrative and overall visual impact. The ability to successfully convey multiple meanings through narrative imagery, symbols, color, and form, a feat exemplified by the present vases, reached new heights during the Kangxi period.

The vases each depict customary displays of homage by aspiring scholars to provincial governors. It is unclear whether the seated officials are retiring from office or are newly appointed but establishing credentials and gaining merit through tribute would have been expected of lower ranking officials. The gift of a boot would seem unusual, however, there was a tradition that new boots symbolize a fresh start and it was understood that the old pair would remain at the previous post symbolizing enduring affection. 

A vase with the same subject matter from the Ionides Collection was sold at Sotheby’s London, 14th July 1964, lot 377.

Sotheby's. Kangxi: The Jie Rui Tang Collection, Part II, New York, 19 Mar 2019, 02:00 PM

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