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25 mars 2020

A rare blue and white dragon vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

H0046-L21502169 (2)

Lot 3105. A rare blue and white dragon vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 45.5 cm., 17 7/8 inEstimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKDLot Sold 980,000 HKD. Photo Sotheby's

of ovoid form, rising to a rounded shoulder collared with three shallow stepped rings, below a waisted neck flaring at the mouth, painted in brilliant tones of cobalt-blue in line and wash with two leaping four-clawed dragons, each rising from white-capped swirling waves around the base, chasing after a 'flaming pearl' above angular rocks, all beneath pencilled borders of spirals and circles at the base of the neck.

ProvenanceCollection of H.M. Knight.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28th November 1979, lot 206

Note: A closely related example of slightly larger dimensions, from the Richard Bennett and Charles Russell collections, is illustrated in R.L. Hobson, The Later Ceramic Wares of China, London, 1925. Compare also a vase of this form and size and decorated with a similar scene, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Chen Runmin, Qing Shunzhi Kangxi qiao qinghua ci, Beijing, 2005, pl. 256; another sold at Christie's, 5th October 1970; and a third slightly smaller example sold in these rooms, 19th May 1982, lot 216.

Similar dynamic scenes of dragons leaping from crashing waves in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl' can be seen decorating the foot of tazzas; see one, with a Kangxi reign mark and of the period, in the Nanjing Museum, included in  Zhongguo qingdai guanyao ciqi, Shanghai, 2003, p. 85; and another in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in the Illustrated Catalogue of Ch'ing Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1980, pl. 15.

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