Lot 3026. A pair of famille-rose begonia-shaped jardinieres and stands, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795); stands 21.2 cm, 8 3/8 in. Estimate 1,500,000 — 2,500,000 HKD (190,995 - 318,325 USD). Lot Sold 3,250,000 HKD (413,823 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.
each modelled on a begonia flower and in quatrefoil section, the jardinière with flaring sides rising from four ruyi-shaped feet to an everted rim, brightly enamelled on the exterior with pairs of blue or pink winged dragons flanking large stylised lotus blooms interspersed amongst dense foliate scrolls and further flowers, the top of the rim encircled by a floral scroll against a lime-green ground between gilt bands, bordered by a gilt-decorated iron-red classic scroll band at the lip, the interior enamelled in turquoise and the base painted with scattered iron-red florets, the stand of corresponding shape and matching decoration.
Provenance: Collection of J.T. Tai (1911-1992).
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 21st May 1985, lot 33.
Christie's Hong Kong, 8th October 1990, lot 327.
Note: Notable for their colourful and lively design of winged dragons flying through an exuberant floral scroll, jardinières of this form are known as penjing (pot landscapes) and were typically used for planting bonsai trees or creating miniature landscapes. Their form with matching stands, was probably inspired by Jun examples attributed to the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644), such as a flower pot and stand in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition The Enchanting Splendour of Vases and Planters: A Special Exhibition of Flower Vessels from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 2014, cat. no. 1-06.
Famille-rose jardinières of this lobed form with their matching stands are unusual, although a similar example, but lacking the winged dragons, in the Nanjing Museum, is illustrated in Zhongguo Qingdai guanyao ciqi [Official Chinese porcelain of the Qing dynasty], Shanghai, 2003, p. 246, together with another painted with a lotus scroll, pl. 246; and one of barbed hexagonal form painted with sinuous dragons, p. 261.
Jardinières of this form are also known decorated in a variety of colour grounds; see for example a yellow-ground jardinière and stand, illustrated ibid., p. 256; a ruby-ground example sold in these rooms, 12th-13th May 1976, lot 281; and a pink-ground jardinière lacking the stand, sold in our New York rooms, 13th-14th September 2016, lot 263.
Sotheby's. An Important Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Hong Kong, 08 Oct 2019