A Ru-type censer, Qianlong seal mark and period (1736-1795)

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Lot 48. A Ru-type censer, Qianlong seal mark and period (1736-1795); 20 cm, 7 7/8  in. Estimate 40,000 - 60,000 GBP.  Lot sold 93,750 GBP (121,134 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.

of compressed circular form, resting on three short feet below a band of twelve bosses, the waisted neck rising to a flared mouth, the shoulder set with two lug-handles, and covered all over with an attractive crackled lavender-blue glaze stopping at the tip of the feet, the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue.

ProvenanceE.T. Hall collection, no. 078 (according to label).
Christie's London, 13th May 2014, lot 410.

Notehile the elegant crackled glaze on this censer was developed in imitation of the celebrated glazes made at the Ru kilns in Ruzhou, modern Baofeng county, Henan province, during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), the form of this censer, which is commonly referred to as yu lou (“fish basket”), appears to be a Yongzheng period innovation. Compare a Yongzheng mark and period censer of this form, but covered in a teadust glaze, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Geng Baochang ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang Qingdai yuyao ciqi [Porcelains from the Qing dynasty imperial kilns in the Palace Museum collection], Beijing, 2005, vol. 1, pt. 2, pl. 13.  

A Qianlong mark and period censer of this form, similarly covered in a Ru-type glaze, is illustrated in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding [Appraisal of Ming and Qing porcelain], Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 456; a guan-type censer in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collections of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 209; and two censers from the Zande Lou collection were included in the exhibition Qing Imperial Monochromes. The Zande Lou Collection, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, 2005, cat. no. 31.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 15 may 2019, 10:30 AM