Lot 54. A rare 'eel skin' glazed vase, hu, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 32.5 cm, 12 ¾ in. Estimate: 700,000 - 900,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,008,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.
of masterfully potted with an ovoid body rising from a splayed foot to a waisted neck and flared rim, flanked by a pair of scroll handles moulded at the top with ruyi-heads, the neck, shoulders and foot further adorned with raised flanges, applied overall with an unctuous speckled olive-green glaze, the base incised with a six-character seal mark.
Note: A Qianlong mark and period teadust-glazed vase of this form is illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 229. See also an example with a sky-blue glaze, included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics II, Tokyo, 1990, cat. no. 722. Compare also a teadust-glazed vase of this form sold in these rooms, 21st May 1979, lot 131. A Qianlong mark and period bronze simulation vase lacking the raised flanges, from the Meiyintang collection, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pl. 953, was sold in these rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 19.
Modelled after a contemporary bronze prototype, which would in turn have been inspired by archaic bronze lei of the Western Zhou dynasty, vases of this form were first made in porcelain in the Yongzheng reign. See for example a Yongzheng mark and period claire-de-lune vase, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Qingdai yuyao ciqi [Qing imperial porcelain], vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 116; and a flambé-glazed example, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29th April 2002, lot 654, and again in these rooms, 8th October 2006, lot 1006.