Lot 2844. A fine and rare blue and white barrel-form jar, Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795)7.¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 2,000,000 - HKD 3,000,000Price realised HKD 2,500,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020. 

The jar is sturdily potted in barrel shape with a flat base and curved sides tapering at the mouth and foot rims. It is painted to the exterior in vibrant tones of blue with alternating lotus and chrysanthemum blooms borne on undulating leafy stems, between a ring of ruyi-heads and elaborate trefoil band, below a band of stylised crested and breaking waves near the mouth rim, all with a ‘heaping and piling’ effect, lacquer cover, Japanese wood box.

Provenance: Sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 30 May 2012, lot 3998.

NoteJars of this form in blue and white are extremely rare, as they are more commonly found in monochrome glazes and applied with bands of bosses and a pair of mask-form handles. For a nearly identical Qianlong-marked blue and white barrel-form jar, see an example sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1581. It is also interesting to compare with a small blue and white garden barrel-form stool (25.1 cm. high) dated to the Kangxi to Qianlong period in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, illustrated in Cornelius Osgood, Blue and White Chinese Porcelain - A Study of Form, New York, 1956, no. 56, which shares a similar floral decoration but with the addition of applied bosses.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 9 July 2020