Lot 1046. An extremely rare pair of pale bluish-grey glazed hexagonal jardinières on integral porcelain stands, Yongzheng six-character seal marks in underglaze blue and of the period (1723-1735); 9 1⁄2 in. (24.2 cm.) wide. Price realised USD 554,400 (Estimate USD 300,000 – USD 500,000). © Christie's 2022

Each jardinière is of hexagonal form, with slightly flared walls and indented corners, covered with a pale lavender, crackled glaze, including the base where spur marks encircle the seal mark, all supported on an integral pierced base with ruyi-form feet and curved aprons, glazed a brownish-bronze to resemble a wood stand.

Provenance: Private collection, Lloyd Harbor, Long Island, by the 1960s (by repute), and thence by descent.

Note: This very rare pair of jardinières, each finely decorated with a finely-crackled lavender-toned glaze supported on an integral faux-wood base, illustrates the tradition of trompe l'oeil, using glazes and overglaze enamels to simulate other materials on porcelain, which became popular in the Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns.

Yongzheng-marked porcelain jardinières, glazed to simulate earlier Song-dynasty wares of different shapes can be found, such as the low, rectangular-form jardinière with Ru-type glaze sold at Sotheby’s London, 13 May 2015, lot 131. However, the present pair, with integral stands glazed to imitate wood, are particularly rare. A Yongzheng-marked jardinière of the same shape as the present pair, also with a lavender glaze but with the integrated stand covered in a powder-blue glaze, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 October 2013, lot 3002. A Yongzheng-marked alms bowl covered with a Ru-type glaze and supported on an integral stand glazed to imitate hardwood like the present pair, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is another example of this rare type and is illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong  Qing Porcelain form the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 268, no. 97. A further Yongzheng-marked famille rose heptagonal jardinière, with integral base glazed to imitate wood, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 October 2002, lot 60.

It is interesting to note that the metallic chestnut-brown glaze used on the integral bases of the present pair can also be found as the main glaze color on other Yongzheng-marked wares. A Yongzheng-marked cong-form vase, covered with similar brown glaze to that on the present integral bases, was sold at Christie’s New York, 18 September 2014, lot 901. A similarly glazed, Yongzheng-marked censer is illustrated in Shimmering Colours: Monochromes of the Yuan to Qing Periods, The Zhuyuetang Collection, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005, p. 252, no. 172.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 25 march 2022