26 octobre 2019

A finely painted and extremely rare small coral-ground enamelled 'floral' cup, Yongzheng Yuzhi mark and period (1723-1735)

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Lot 14. A finely painted and extremely rare small coral-ground enamelled 'floral' cup, Yongzheng Yuzhi mark and period (1723-1735). Diameter 6.5 cm, 2½ inEstimate: 60,000 - 80,000 GBPLot sold 325,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's.

delicately potted with deep rounded sides tapering from a slightly splayed foot to a gently flared rim, the exterior finely painted with clusters of autumn flowering buds and blossoms borne on slender stalks and curling stems, including chrysanthemum, crab-apple, peony and poppy, all finely detailed with veins and heightened with different shaded tones of blue, green, iron-red and yellow against a rich coral-red ground, the base inscribed with a four-character yuzhi mark within a double square in underglaze blue.

Provenance: Yamanaka & Co., Inc., New York, 1st September 1938 ($20).
Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978).
Christie's New York, 21st September 1995, lot 198.

Note: Expertly painted with a profusion of vibrantly-coloured flowers against a dark coral ground, this cup is a particularly unusual example of a small group of wares with yuzhi ('made for imperial use of') marks. Its composition and palette, as well as its reign mark stem from the innovative style pioneered by the enamel workshop, which had been set up in the Forbidden City during the latter part of the Kangxi period (r. 1662-1722). Hugh Moss in By Imperial Command. An Introduction to Ch'ing Imperial Painted Enamels, Hong Kong, 1976, p. 82, suggests that bowls of this type were most probably made at Jingdezhen within the first two years of the Yongzheng reign, when potters were not yet familiar with the famille-rose palette which had been used in Beijing.

Cups painted in famille-verte enamels with this motif are seldom known of such small proportions. A larger bowl from the collection of Gerald Reitlinger, is illustrated in Soame Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain, London, 1951, pl. XLV (1); a pair is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics IV. Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pls. 159 and 160, together with an example inscribed with a six-character Yongzheng nianzhi mark, pl. 158; and a further bowl from the Meiyintang collection was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 49.

Sotheby'sImperial Porcelain - A Private Collection, London, 6 november 2019 


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