Lot 108. A rare copper-red-glazed 'Langyao' mallet vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Height 17⅞ in., 45.4 cm. Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD. (C) 2020 Sotheby's


the high domed body flaring slightly towards the base, the tall columnar neck rising to a gently everted cup-shaped mouth and flanked by a pair of white biscuit dragon-head loop handles, covered overall in a translucent crimson-red glaze suffused with subtle crackle, draining to white at the rim, pooling to a burgundy color and stopping unevenly just above the recessed white-glazed base, wood stand (2)


Note: The vibrant translucent red ‘Langyao’ glaze derives its name from the famed supervisor of the imperial kilns Lang Tingji (1662-1715) who is credited with reviving copper-red glazes. Under his skilled direction the imperial potters succeeded in perfecting a range of red glazes; an accomplishment not achieved since the early Ming dynasty. The form of the present vase, inspired by Song dynasty prototypes that normally features straight sides, is attractively curved, providing a sense of elegant movement and delicacy that belie its large size and vibrancy. A similar curvaceous mallet vase was produced in the imperial kilns but of smaller dimension and with copper-red medallion decoration, termed yaoling zun after the hand bell used by peddlers; for an example of this type, see the vase from the J.M. Hu Collection sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 351. See also a related Kangxi period copper-red glazed mallet vase of more traditional form sold in our Paris rooms, 18th December 2012, lot 199.


Sotheby's. Kangxi Porcelain - A Private Collection. Live Auction: 22 September 2020 • 3:00 PM CEST • New York.