Lot 347. A fine famille-verte 'Romance of the Western Chamber' phoenix-tail vase, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period (1662-1722). Height 18 1/8 in., 46 cm. Estimate: US$30,000 - US$50,000. Lot Sold 52,500 US$. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the baluster form body sweeping to a wide flaring rim, the rounded sides vibrantly enameled with a continuous animated scene depicting the victorious moment of Huiming, robes flying in the wind, running alongside General Du, sitting astride a galloping steed with arms raised preparing to throw a long lance in pursuit of the fleeing rebel Sun Feihu, observed in the distance from the monastery walls by the abbot and Zhang, the upper section of the vase portraying an official, accompanied by a large retinue, respectfully presenting a scroll to a humble farmer followed from behind by a large water buffalo, the base plain, coll. no. 1337.
Provenance: Marchant, London, 2003.
Note: The present vase illustrates two popular narratives that served to encourage the dream of achieving an official rank. The enormously popular play, Romance of the Western Chamber, recounts the travails of a young man who finally wins permission to marry the woman he loves. The scene of an official granting a scroll to a humble farmer references hopeful poems of the period such as A Farmer in the Morning Becomes a Court Official in the Evening.