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Lot 17. A large doucai 'floral' jardinière, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); d. 32.7 cm. Lot sold: 4,652,000 HKD (Estimate: 1,200,000 - 1,800,000). © Sotheby's 2021

sturdily potted with deep rounded sides gently rising from a recessed base to an incurved lipped rim, finely decorated in a brilliant doucai palette with famille-rose accents around the exterior with five large medallions enclosing a large lotus bloom surrounded by smaller blossoms amidst curling leaves, each divided by elaborate floral strapwork, all between a border of lotus lappets around the base and ruyi and floral panel borders below the rim, inscribed to the base with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue, the interior plain.

ProvenanceA New York private collection.
Christie's New York, 19th September 1996, lot 328.

Note: The present jardinière belongs to a small group of vessels that successfully incorporate two decorative styles – the doucai palette invented in the Ming dynasty, and famille-rose enamels developed in the Yongzheng period. The sturdily potted vessel, densely painted with Rococo-inspired composite floral scrolls outlined in cobalt blue and enhanced by bright, opaque enamels, represents the Qianlong Emperor's eclectic taste that shaped the development during his reign. 

A few similar jardinières are preserved in major museums, including one from the J.M. Hu collection in the Shanghai Museum, published in Selected Ceramics from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Hu, Shanghai, 1989, cat. no. 68; another in the Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 947; and a further example in Sekai toji zenshu / Ceramic Art of the World, vol. 15, Tokyo, 1983, pls 94 and 95. Comparable jardinières were sold in these rooms, 27th April 1999, lot 432, and 2nd May 2000, lot 675. A similar example was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th November 2006, lot 1546.

Sotheby's. The Three Emperors: Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns from the Yidetang Collection, Hong Kong, 12 October 2021