Lot 41. A very rare blue and white 'Immortals' sleeve vase, Chongzhen period (1627-1644); 37cm (14.6in) high. Estimate £ 20,000-30,000. Sold for £ 35,062 (€ 39,445). Courtesy Bonhams.
The tall cylindrical body expertly painted in vibrant tones of cobalt-blue around the exterior with a continuous scene of the Eight Immortals within a mountainous landscape, all beneath pendent plantain leaves at the neck.
Provenance: a European private collection, acquired in 1975.
Note: The Eight Immortals, Zhang Liquan, Lu Dongbin, Li Tieguai, Cao Guojiu, Zhang Guolao, Han Xiangzi, He Xiangu and Lan Caihe are Daoist mythical figures. Paintings often depict these figures celebrating a birthday or on their way to celebrate a birthday. There is a variety of different compositions of the same motif, such as the birthdays of the Queen Mother of the West or the God of Longevity. Many paintings originated from classical dramas and prints. Compare with a related blue and white sleeve vase decorated with Immortals, dated 1641, in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, illustrated by R.S.Kilburn, Transitional Wares and their Forerunners, Hong Kong, 1981, p.35, fig.19.
Compare with a related blue and white sleeve vase, Chongzhen, which was sold at Bonhams London 6 November 2014, lot 227.
From the Bernheimer collection. A fine blue and white sleeve vase, Chongzhen period (1627-1644); 43.8cm (17 1/4in) high. Sold for £ 67,300 (€ 75,607) at Bonhams London 6 November 2014, lot 227. Courtesy Bonhams.
Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, London, 5 Nov 2020