Lot 3655. A rare 'clair-de-lune' glazed 'hundred rib' jar, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 26.6 cm, 10 1/2 in. Estimate 2,800,000 — 3,200,000 HKD. Lot sold 3,250,000 HKD (418,633 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.
with a baluster body sweeping up to a broad rounded shoulder and a raised rim, all supported on a flat base, the exterior divided into one hundred narrow ribs, covered evenly overall save for the base with an unctuous pale milky-blue glaze pooling to a darker tone in the grooves, the unglazed base showcasing the fine body.
A closely related jar, exhibited on loan at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, was offered in our New York rooms, 6th December 1989, lot 192; one from the Edward T. Chow collection was sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 73; and another from the J.M. Hu collection was sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1985, lot 29. See also one sold in our London rooms, 10th July 1979, lot 203, and again in these rooms, 20th May 1980, lot 98; two further jars sold in our New York rooms, one from the collection of William L. Parker, 11th May 1978, lot 212, and the other, 4th December 1984, lot 345; and one recently sold in these rooms, 5th April 2017, lot 1111.
An extremely rare 'clair-de-lune' glazed 'hundred rib' jar, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 26.5 cm, 10 3/8 in. Sold for 5,860,000 HKD at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 5th April 2017, lot 1111. Photo: Sotheby's.
The form of these jars derives from Longquan celadon wares of the 14th century, which were made with covers in the form of a lotus leaf, such as one from the collection of the Ottoman sultans and now in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, included in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, London, 1986, vol. I, pl. 213; and another, in the Tokyo National Museum, published in the Illustrated Catalogue of Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics II, Tokyo, 1990, cat. no. 14.
Jars of this type may in the later Qing period have been described as having a Ru glaze, the ribs referred to as ‘hundred folds’ (baizhe). According to the inventory of the Qing imperial court archives, dated to the twelfth month of the eleventh year of the Guangxu period (in accordance with 1885), Ru you ci baizhe xiao yugang yi kou or ‘a small Ru-glazed hundred-fold fish jar’ was stored in the porcelain quarter of Fangyuanju (Residence of the aromatic garden) in the Imperial Summer Palace at Chengde.