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22 mars 2020

A fine and rare Guan-type archaistic handled vase, seal mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735)

H0046-L21501740 (2)

A FINE AND RARE GUAN-TYPE ARCHAISTIC HANDLED VASE SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF YONGZHENG

Lot 3038. A fine and rare Guan-type archaistic handled vase, seal mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); 14.5 cm., 5 3/4 in. Estimate 1,300,000 — 1,800,000 HKDLot Sold 4,220,000. Photo Sotheby's

of hu form supported on a tall foot, the pear-shaped  body rising to a raised rim above the broad columnar neck flanked by a pair of angular ear-shaped handles moulded with long ruyi-head lobes, covered overall in a thickly applied glaze suffused with a fine network of charcoal-grey crackling, the unglazed footrim applied with a dark brown slip, the base inscribed with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue.

ProvenanceSotheby's Hong Kong, 31st October 2004, lot 217.

NoteYongzheng vases of this form are rare; see an example of more globular form and rounded stepped foot published in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 245, pl. 74. For closely related vases with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, compare two sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th April 2002, lot 664, and a larger example, 30th May 2006; another covered in a Ru-type glaze sold in these rooms, 20th November, 1985, lot 213; and a teadust-glazed vase in the Tokyo National Museum, published in oriental ceramics. The World's Great Collections, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 293.

The form and glaze of the current vase reflects archaistic interest, as the shape derive from the tall pear-shaped bronze hu of the Shang dynasty (16th century-c.1050BC), while the glaze is in imitation of the celebrated 'Guan' official ware of the Song period (960-1279). In China copying was always considered a virtue as it challenged craftsmen to equal masters of the past.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 08 april 2011

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