Lot 305. A rare black-glazed 'imitation bronze' archaistic vase, cong, 18th-19th century; 11 ½ in. (29 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000 (USD 10,416 - USD 15,624). © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.
The rectangular body of the vase is decorated to two sides with elephant-head handles above a taotie mask on a leiwen ground. The alternating sides are decorated in relief with a central medallion enclosing a stylised shou character surrounded by kui dragons, all on a leiwen ground. The four corners of each face are each decorated with a stylised geometric kui dragon. The vase is covered to the exterior in a deep brown glaze imitating bronze.
Provenance: With A. Bianchi Antichita, Turin, (label to the base).
Note: 'Mirror-black' is mentioned by Père de'Entrecolles, who was at Jingdezhen in 1720, as a high temperature glaze coloured with low-grade Chinese cobalt (an iron-manganese-cobalt mixture). See another mirror-black-glazed vase, dated to the Kangxi period, from the collection of Professor E. T. Hall, sold at Christie's London 7 June 2004, lot 193.