Lot 143. A rare pair of imperial yellow-glazed 'fu' and covers, Qing dynasty, 19th century; overall height 10 1/2 in., 26.7 cmEstimate 20,000 — 30,000 USD. Lot sold 22,500 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

each vessel of trapezoidal shape with straight flared sides, supported on splayed bracket feet with arch-shaped apertures on all sides, a keyfret border dividing the vessel from the foot, the shape of the cover echoing the body of the vessel, the exterior of the body molded with archaistic dragons amongst clouds with square scrolls, the vessel flanked by animal-head loop handles accentuated with C-motifs, the cover with smaller loop handles, all below an undulating flared crown, the rich egg-yolk-yellow-glaze applied throughout and pooling to a deeper tone in the recesses (4).

Note: Although yellow-glazed ritual vessels are rare, a similar fu incised with a Qianlong seal mark was sold at Christie's London, 5th June 1995, lot 182, and again, 4th December 1995, lot 173. Another similar example with a Guangxu mark, was sold in our London rooms, 12th June 1990, lot 303.

Sotheby'sFine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art, New York, 18 March 2008