19 août 2019

Back on Kangxi monochome sold at Christie's New York, 19 March 2008

2008_NYR_01976_0636_000()

Lot 636. A peachbloom-glazed brush washer, tangluo xi, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722); 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 30,000 - USD 40,000. Price realised USD 157,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.

The compressed globular body covered on the exterior with a glaze of crushed strawberry tone with minute brown spots (jiangdou hong) in contrast to the white rim and interior, wood stand, box.

ProvenanceEdward T. Chow.
M.C. Wang Collection, China, formed through the 1940s, and thence by descent to the present owners. 

Literature: H.D. Ling and E.T. Chow, Collection of Chinese Ceramics from the Hall of Leisurely Pastime, vol. II, Hong Kong, privately printed, 1950, one of no. 120 in the catalogue. 

Note: This type of brush washer is described as of 'gong' shape or tangluo xi, as it has a very compressed body.

This washer belongs to an exclusive group of eight vessel shapes that are covered in this extremely desirable peachbloom glaze. Known as the ba da ma or 'Eight Great Numbers', the sets were especially devised in these classic forms to serve as requisite appointments for the Emperor's writing table. Complete sets are extremely rare, with one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated by S. Valenstein, The Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., p. 237; and another from the Jingguantang Collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3 November 1996, lot 557 and now in the Baur Collection, Geneva.

Similar brush washers have been widely published and are in numerous public and private collections. John Ayers in the transcript of his lecture, "The 'Peachbloom' Wares of the Kangxi period (1662-1722)", TOCS, vol. 64, 1999-2000, pp. 31-50, provides a thorough discussion of peachbloom wares, as well as wares of similar shape with pale celadon and pale blue glazes. He notes that Stephen Bushell in Oriental Ceramic Art, new edition, London, 1981, describes various shades of the peachbloom glaze, one of which is jiangdou hong (bean red), "in an allusion to the small Chinese kidney bean, with its variegated pink colour and brown spots". He goes on to suggest, p. 49, that these wares, rather than having been made exclusively for the use of the Kangxi emperor, may have been presented as gifts to members of the court on important court occasions.

Whatever the case may be, these wares have always been and continue to be highly prized.

2008_NYR_01976_0648_000()

Lot 648. A rare anhua-decorated white bowl, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722); 6¼ in. (16.9 cm.) diamEstimate USD 3,000 - USD 4,000. Price realised USD 3,750. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.

With deep rounded sides, the exterior incised under the glaze with two five-clawed scaly dragons pursuing flaming pearls.

Provenance: Stephen Junkunc, III. 

Note: A very similar bowl is illustrated by J. Ayers in the Baur Collection, vol. III, Geneva, 1972, no. A408; one in the McElney Collection was included in the exhibition, Porcelain of High Qing, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1983, no. 32; and another included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition, Monochrome Ceramics, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1977, no. 134, was later sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 8 October 1990, lot 603. 

2008_NYR_01976_0654_000()

Lot 654. A fine peachbloom-glazed brush washer, tangluo xi, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722); 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm.) diamEstimate USD 30,000 - USD 40,000. Price realised USD 169,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.

The compressed globular body covered on the exterior with a glaze of crushed strawberry tone with tiny areas of mushroom color, with white rim and interior, wood stand.

Provenance: Edward T. Chow.
M.C. Wang Collection, China, formed through the 1940s, and thence by descent to the present owners. 

Literature: H.D. Ling and E.T. Chow, Collection of Chinese Ceramics from the Hall of Leisurely Pastime, vol. II, Hong Kong, privately printed, 1950, one of no. 120 in the catalogue. 

2008_NYR_01976_0656_000()

Lot 656. A rare clair-de-lune-glazed water pot, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722); 4 1/8 in. (10.4 cm.) diamEstimate USD 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price realised USD 115,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008.

The tapering, bulbous body with an inverted rim, covered overall and in the interior with a glaze of even pale-blue tone stopping neatly above the foot, the base glazed white. 

Provenance: Yamanaka & Co., 1940s. 

Note: The soft, gentle hue of clair-de-lune is one of the most treasured Qing glazes, and was reserved exclusively for Imperial porcelains. Clair-de-lune-glazed wares were made in the same eight classic shapes for the writing table, ba da ma, or 'Eight Great Numbers', as peachbloom-glazed wares, but are considerably more rare. For a discussion of these wares, see J. Ayers, "The 'Peachbloom' Wares of the Kangxi period (1662-1722)", T.O.C.S., 1999-2000, vol. 64, pp. 31-50, where a clair-de-lune water pot in the Baur Collection, is illustrated p. 48, fig. 36(R).

Two Kangxi-marked claire-de-lune water pots were sold Sotheby's, New York, 15 September 1999, lot 84, and Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 November 1999, lot 339, where it is noted that four claire-de-lune water pots from the Widener collection are now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., published in the Gallery's Systematic Catalogue, Decorative Arts, part II, 1998, pp. 93-7. Other examples may be found in the Shanghai Museum, published in Kangxi Porcelain Ware from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 216; in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, rev. ed., pl. 240; and one illustrated by J. Ayers in The Baur Collection, Geneva, Chinese Ceramics, vol. III, London, 1972, no. A319.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art, New York, 19 March 2008.


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