Lot 50. A rare pair of goose tureens and covers, Qianlong period, circa 1760-1780; 141⁄2 in. (36.8 cm.) long, each. Estimate USD 125,000 - USD 175,000Price Realised USD 150,000© Christie's Image Ltd 2021.

Naturalistically formed, swimming, their webbed feet tucked beneath them and their heads held forward, the curving necks forming handles for the tureen covers, the wings folded along their backs and picked out in blue, black and sepia, the neck feathers in sepia brushstrokes with pink crown above the iron-red ringed eyes, the breasts and stomachs with carved plumage detail.

Provenance: The Falk Collection; Christie's, New York, 23 January 2002, lot 125 (one).
The Mottahedeh Collection; Sotheby's, New York, 19 October 2000, lot 377 (one).

LiteratureW.R. Sargent, Chinese Porcelain in the Conde Collection, Madrid, 2014, p. 258.

ExhibitedLondon, The Arts Council Gallery, The Animal in Chinese Art, 19 June-19 July 1968.

NoteAnimal tureens such as the present lot were a very popular accompaniment to table services in wealthy households in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were almost certainly derived from European ceramic models, most likely the faience models produced by the Strasbourg factory in the mid-18th century. It has been suggested by scholars William Motley that the shorter neck and more naturalistic coloring of the present model pre-dates the more commonly-found long-neck goose tureens. See M. Cohen and W. Motley, Mandarin and Menagerie Volume I: The James E. Sowell Collection, Cohen & Cohen, London, 2008, p. 258 for a detailed description of the long-necked model.

The Tibor Collection was formed over decades, growing to encompass every category of Chinese export porcelain, from small, charming teawares to massive pairs of important jars. The collector had a deep appreciation for the magnificent porcelains made for New Spain as well as for the lifelike charm and elegance of Chinese porcelain figure and animal models.

Christie's. Chinese Export Art Featuring Property from the Tibor Collection, New York, 7 Jan - 20 Jan 2021