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Lot 3517. A very rare blue-glazed zhadou, Mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735) d. 14.3 cm. Lot sold 2,268,000 HKD (Estimate : 1,800,000 - 2,500,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

ProvenanceCollection of Professor J. Norman Collie, FRS (1859-1942), one of the founding members of the Oriental Ceramic Society, and thence by descent.

ExhibitedSarah Wong and Stacey Pierson, eds, Collectors, Curators, Connoisseurs: A Century of the Oriental Ceramic Society, 1921-2021, Hong Kong, 2021, cat. no. 100.

NoteElegantly proportioned and covered in a brilliantly intense blue glaze, the present vessel is remarkable for its extravagant, sophisticated silhouette and beautiful glaze. As with many Yongzheng period (1723-35) monochrome wares, this piece displays the prevailing interest in archaism, as evidenced in its shape. With a flaring rim and globular body, the form refers back to archaic bronze zun. However, a fresh aesthetic suited to contemporary tastes has been achieved through the minimalist blue glaze, which also serves to highlight the elegance of the updated form while still referring to the past. Zhadou were used at banquets as containers for food and drink residues. Over the centuries, the rim has evolved to be wider and the body more compact, as seen on the present piece.

See two blue-glazed zhadou with a globular body and a more widely flared trumpet neck, both of larger size measuring around 22.8 cm in diameter; one from the Qing Court collection and now in the Palace Museum, Beijing (accession no. 149136), illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 74; the other preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession no. zhong-ci-1859).

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Zhadou spittoon with cobalt blue glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), National Palace Museum, Taipei, accession no. zhong-ci-1859

Compare also a slightly smaller version (12.7 cm in diameter), from the later Qianlong period (1736-95), preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession no. gu-ci-12813), included in the Museum’s Qingdai danseyou ciqi tezhan / Special Exhibition of Monochrome Glazed Porcelain of the Qing dynasty, Taipei, 1981, cat. no. 47.

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Zhadou spittoon with cobalt blue glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), National Palace Museum, Taipei, accession no. gu-ci-12813

Sotheby's. Marchant II – Qing Imperial Porcelain, Hong Kong, 29 April 2022