Lot 3312. A Blue And White ‘Deer And Crane’ Jar, Yongzheng Period (1723-1735). H 22.3cmEstimate 1,800,000 - 2,500,000 (USD 230,769 - 320,513). Sold Price: HKD 1,440,000 (USD 184,615). Copyright 2021 © Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited

Elegantly potted with a lipped rim and rounded shoulders that extend to a narrower lower half. A scene of auspicious animals in spring is depicted on the body in underglaze blue. In front of the hehuan tree are deer looking up at the sky where a crane flies, another crane stands on the branch of a phoenix tree. The bottom inscribed with a six-character Yongzheng reign mark in underglaze blue within a double circle.

Provenance: 1. Collection of Mr. Jacques Saint-Bris, Paris, France, 1991
2. Duchange family collection, Paris, France.

NoteThe deer, crane, pine tree, lingzhi and auspicious clouds are symbolisms for longevity, which suggests that the present lot could have been associated with a birthday celebration. Details are adept and the fine brush strokes effectively portray a more realistic picture.

The title liuhe and is a homophone for the words lu (deer) and he (crane). It means the unity of the six directions, the sky and earth, and the four cardinal directions in Spring. This theme frequently accompanies blue-and-white porcelains from civil kilns in the Kangxi period, see a collection from The Palace Museum in Beijing, illustrated in Blue-and-white Porcelains from the Shunzhi and Kangxi Periods, Beijing, 2005, pp. 476-477, fig. 307, 308.

Despite the theme’s popularity in civil kilns, there are currently no known replicas from Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong porcelains, with the exception of two close examples from the Qianlong period. One adorned with a scene of pine trees and deer was sold in Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 11 April 2008, lot 1830, and another a bottle vase sold at Poly Beijing, 5 December 2010, lot 4695.

The current lot was in the collection of Mr. Jacques. The Saint-Bris family owns the Château of Clos Lucé in Amboise (France) since 1854. After Léonard de Vinci leaving Tuscany in Italy, he lived in the Château of Clos Lucé until his death in 1519.

Poly Auctions. Imperial Treasures: A Selection of Qing Imperial Porcelains, Hong Kong, 21 April 2021