Lot 148. An Yixing stoneware 'snail and shell' waterpot, signed Chen Mingyuan, early Qing dynasty (1664-1911); 3 ¼ in. (8.5cm.) long. Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 40,000. Price realised GBP 25,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The vessel is finely modelled in the form of a large shell with a smaller snail crawling up to one side. The naturalistically potted stoneware is decorated in a rich brown tone with incised texture. The underside bears the impressed seal mark.
Provenance: Bluett & Sons Ltd., London.
Bonhams Hong Kong, 28 November 2011, lot 214.
Note: Chen Mingyuan, one of the most famous and versatile Yixing potters, was active during the Kangxi/Yongzheng periods (1662-1735). His works included teapots and articles for the scholar's table, many simulating objects from nature such as those in the K.S. Lo Collection, now in the Flagstaff House Museum Tea Ware, illustrated in The Art of the Yixing Potter, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1990, pp. 139-142. The present lot may be compared to the Yixing snails group signed by Chen Mingyuan of similar size and form illustrated in The Art of the Yixing Potter, no.160, p.231.
Lot 149. An Yixing stoneware 'aubergine' water dropper, signed Chen Mingyuan, early Qing dynasty (1664-1911); 5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000. Price realised GBP 21,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The water dropper is finely potted in the shape of an elongated aubergine issuing from a short stem and resting on two smaller aubergines. The lower section is modelled with a twig and three leaves. The naturalistically potted stoneware is of rich dark-brown colour and the underside bears two incised seals.
Provenance: Mrs. Rene Dreyfus Collection.
Spink & Son Ltd., London, 1981.
Bonhams Hong Kong, 28 November 2011, lot 221.
Note: The present lot may be compared with the aubergine waterdropper attributed to Chen Mingyuan from the Gong Xinzhao collection published by Lai Suk Yee and Terese Tse Bartholomew in The Bei Shan Tang Legacy: Yixing Zisha Stoneware, 2015, no. 128, p339.
Lot 150. An Yixing stoneware brush washer, xi, signed Hui Mengchen, early Qing dynasty (1664-1911); 4 in. (10 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 30,000 - GBP 50,000. Price realised GBP 50,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The vessel is elegantly potted with three steps tapering from the foot in imitation of an archaistic bronze vessel. The sides are applied with a pair of ring-handles suspending from taotie-masks. The body is potted with rich reddish clay and decorated with yellow sand imitating ‘pear-peel’ effect. The base bears a four-character seal mark reading Mengchen shoushi, which can be translated as ‘handmade by Mengchen’.
Provenance: Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London.
Bonhams Hong Kong, 28 November 2011, lot 230.
Literature: P. Moss, 'I-Hsing-Tea-Taste', in Journal of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, vol. X, no. 3, September 1978, p.7, fig.7.
Lot 152. A finely modelled Yixing stoneware 'plum blossom' brushpot, signed Hui Yang Luqian, Qianlong period (1736-1795); 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 80,000 - GBP 120,000. Price realised GBP 150,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The naturalistically potted brushpot is formed as a section of a prunus trunk and carved in high relief with gnarled branches, flower buds and blossoms. The base is impressed with a three-character Yang Luqian seal mark.
Provenance: Douglas J. K. Wright, Grosvenor House Fair, mid-1970s.
Bonhams Hong Kong, 28 November 2011, lot 268.
Exhibited: London, Oriental Ceramics Society Exhibition, 1964, no. 311.
London, Oriental Ceramics Society Exhibition, The Ceramic Art of China, 1971, no. 188.
Lot 153. A very rare Imperial Yixing stoneware inkstone, Yongzheng period (1736-1795). The ink stone 9 1/8 in. (23 cm.) diam., excluding fitted lacquer box. Estimate GBP 60,000 - GBP 80,000. Price realised GBP 487,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The inkstone is of circular form with a recessed channel encircling the interior. The sides of the exterior are exquisitely decorated in slip with a continuous scene depicting a bare, wintry landscape that centres on three islands in a river with a sampan, the branches of the windswept trees all in silhouette without leaves. On one island, a scholar is depicted leaning on his staff as he walks towards a hut, his attendant trailing behind. The stoneware is of a rich brown tone. The original fitted black lacquer box is finely decorated in gilt and red lacquer with four bats encircling a stylised floral medallion, within a scrolling border centred with lotus flowers. The interior of the cover is further embellished with scattered floral sprigs.
Provenance: Bonhams Hong Kong, 28 November 2011, lot 250.
Note: This inkstone is notable for the exceptional quality of the intricate, detailed slip decoration and for being offered together with its original lacquer box. A related imperial Yixing stoneware inkstone dated to the Yongzheng period in the Palace Museum collection, Beijing, is illustrated in Yixing Zisha Wares in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2009, p.193, pl. 111 (fig.1). However, the Palace Museum inkstone is decorated with bats and 'shou' characters amongst clouds and has no original lacquer box.
Christie's. Important Chinese Art, London, 3 November 2020