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Lot 19. A fine blue and white ovoid jar, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795); 32.4 cm. Lot sold: 2,394,000 HKD (Estimate: 1,200,000 - 1,800,000). © Sotheby's 2021

superbly potted with a generous well-rounded ovoid body gently rising from a tapering foot to a short waisted neck and lipped mouth, brilliantly painted in vibrant tones of cobalt blue with a composite floral scroll of large lotus blooms borne on an undulating leafy stem, between a band of lappets above the foot and a collar of ruyi-heads at the shoulder, surmounted by a key-fret border and a classic scroll, the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark.

ProvenanceSotheby's Hong Kong, 1st November 1999, lot 384.

NoteThis jar assumes an immediate sense of familiarity through its rich and finely rendered design and the 'heaping and piling' effect which are steeped in the celebrated traditions of the early Ming dynasty. The craftsman has subtly imbued the present jar with a contemporaneity that firmly positions it within the taste of the early Qing dynasty, as demonstrated by the elongated ovoid contours and the careful depiction of stylised blooms and feathery foliage inspired by European Rococo design. 

ars of this elegant ovoid shape, or taibotan in Chinese, well-proportioned with a generous rounded body sweeping up to a waisted neck and flared lipped mouthrim, were popular during the Yongzheng period. A Jun-type blue-ground jar of this form and size, accentuated with distinctive purple bands, is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding [Appraisal of Ming and Qing porcelain], Hong Kong, 1993, p. 255, fig. 438.

For Qianlong period examples, see a jar of the same form and size, but intricately painted with interlocked arabesque scrolls amidst lotus blossoms and feathery leaves, sold twice at Christie's Hong Kong, 1st October 1991, lot 838, and again, 28th November 2005, lot 1387. See also a slightly smaller jar of this form in the Shanghai Museum, painted with a pair of iron-red dragons among blue clouds, illustrated in Zhou Lili, Shanghai bowuguan cangpin yanjiu daxi: Qingdai Yongzheng-Xuantong guanyao ciqi / Qing Dynasty Official Wares from the Yongzheng to Xuantong Reigns, Shanghai, 2014, pl. 3-57.

ars of this shape were also decorated in monochrome glazes during the Qianlong period. A celadon-glazed jar, densely moulded with a continuous stylised lotus scroll, was sold in these rooms, 8th October 2019, lot 3104. A guan-glazed jar was sold in these rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 287, from the collection of T.Y. Chao, and again, 8th October 2013, lot 3003 (fig. 1).

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A fine and rare moulded celadon-glazed 'lotus' jar, Seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795). Sold for 1,500,000 HKD (Estimate 1,200,000 - 1,600,000 HKD) at Sotheby'sHong Kong, 08 Oct 2019, lot 3104© Sotheby's

Cf. my post:  A fine and rare moulded celadon-glazed 'lotus' jar, seal mark and period of Qianlong (1736-1795)

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Guan-glazed jar, Seal mark and period of QIanlong, formerly in the collection of T.Y. Chao. Sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19th may 1987, lot 287, and 8th october 2013, lot 3003© Sotheby's

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