Lot 1357. A fine and rare blue and white sleeve vase, Transitional period, circa 1640; 18 1/8 in. (46 cm.) high. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 60,000. Price realised USD 50,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2010.
Finely painted with an evening scene of two pairs of geese on rocks in a lotus pond awaiting a third pair in flight above, with peony growing beside one pair, and with a willow tree on the reverse, all below a leiwen band and three flower sprays on the neck.
Provenance: Private Collection, France.
Chinese Porcelain Company, New York.
Literature: K. Rizk and C. Mahony, 17th and 18th Century Chinese Porcelain From Distinguished Private Collections, Chinese Porcelain Company, October 2000, pp. 30-31, no. 11.
Exhibited: Flora and Fauna: Themes and Symbols in the Decorative Arts of China,Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut, 23 June - 9 September 2007.
Note: It is rare for a Transitional vase to be painted with a continuous scene rather than have the scene divided by a vertical band of clouds and rocks. Another vase dated to early in the Transitional period, c. 1630-35, which also has a continuous scene depicting figures standing beneath a willow tree is illustrated by Sir Michael Butler et al., Seventeenth Century Chinese Porcelain from the Butler Family Collection, Alexandria, Virginia, 1990, no. 98.
The scene depicted, geese on a river bank awaiting those in flight above, can be seen in paintings as early as the Song dynasty. The symbolism is apt for weddings as geese mate for life. Geese are also mentioned in the Liji [Book of Rites] as coming as guests for Autumn, and have come to be associated with longevity. For another depiction of thise rare subject on porcelain see the famille verte yenyen vase of Kangxi date sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 May 2009, lot 1871.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. 26 March 2010. New York, Rockefeller Plaza