Lot 661. A copper-red-decorated 'dragon' rouleau vase, Qing dynasty, 18th century. Height 14 7/8 in., 37.8 cm. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000 USD. © Sotheby's.
the elongated ovoid body set over a straight foot and rising to a short, waisted neck with an everted lip, painted all around in bright copper red with two five-clawed dragons contesting a 'flaming pearl', one dragon striding across clusters of swirling clouds, its sinuous body wrapping almost entirely around the vase, the second dragon emerging from the roiling sea below, flame scrolls dancing in the air amidst the clouds.
Note: The characteristics of the principal dragon on this vase — with its exceedingly long serpentine body, the minimal treatment of the face and mane in comparison to the richly detailed body, and its overall sense of movement — compare closely to a Kangxi mark and period copper-red-decorated 'dragon' meiping sold first in our London rooms, 1st-2nd April 1974, lot 364, and then in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1981, lot 774. A second meiping of this type, attributed to the 18th century, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 29th November 1977, lot 196. See also an early Kangxi period precedent for a 'dragon' sleeve vase decorated entirely in underglaze red in the collection of Michael Butler, exhibited in Chinese Porcelain: The Transitional Period, 1620-1683, A Selection from the Michael Butler Collection, Princesshof Museum, the Netherlands, 1986, cat. no. 120.
Collection of Jean Lavigne. Jean Lavigne was a fine art publisher in Paris, who is best known for printing and publishing 'La Conquette du Cosmos II' by Salvador Dali in 1974.
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 10 september 2019