Lot 3705. A rare cloisonné enamel 'Mythical Beast' rhyton, Mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 10 cm, 3 7/8 in. Estimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,187,500 HKD (152,962 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.
superbly cast with a hollow body and an upturned bottom-end shaped in the form of a mythical beast's head defined with outlines of a prominent snout, further rendered with a pair of curved horns, the exterior of the vessel brightly decorated with multi-coloured enamels with floral blooms borne on scrolling foliage, all against a bright turquoise ground below a red-ground band enclosing 'horse-hoof' and circular motifs encircling the rim, the base with a gilt-bronze cartouche incised with a four-character reign mark within a square.
Provenance: A noble English family collection.
Note: Notable for its exuberant decoration and archaistic form, this exquisitely conceived cloisonne enamel vessel reveals the opulent taste of the Qianlong Emperor and his passion for unusual playthings.