Lot 3577. An Underglaze-Red ‘Floral’ Pear-Shaped Vase, Yuhuchunping, Hongwu Period (1368-1398). L 17.5cm. Sold for HKD 3,500,000 (Estimate HKD 2,500,000 - HKD 4,500,000). © Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited 2022

This is of regular form, with a rounded belly and a shallow, unglazed, flat foot. There is a broad stream along one side of the mouth, with a small rounded band below. The lip is exposed and appears flint-red because of the overlay. The glaze is slightly greenish on a white ground, and the centre of the bottle is decorated with a band of white wavy lines on a red ground, with a heron standing proudly on the side of a lotus leaf, accompanied by branches and leaves on the left, the brushstrokes of which are free and the colour deep red. The waves are particularly distinctive, painted in copper-red glaze and then gently incised with a sharp tool to remove the coloured glaze before applying the glaze, leaving a white effect.

Provenance: Meiyintang Collection, Switzerland.

ExhibitionEvolution to Perfection: Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Sporting d'Hiver, Monte Carlo, 1996, no. 95.

Published: Kang Ruijun, The Meiyintang Collection of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 2, London, 1994-2010, p. 31, no. 646.

Note: In the Yuan dynasty, Zhou Quan recorded that the wine was better than grapes, and in the Ming and Qing dynasties, there were many poems about this wine, such as 'The jade jug and spring wine sends you on your way, who has a thousand flowers under the building' and 'I am glad to go to Huijie in autumn and winter, and to get drunk on the jade jug and spring before Jiangguan'. The poem 'A Poem on Porcelain' by Emperor Gaozong of the Qing dynasty The origin of jade jug spring can be subtly illustrated by the words of the Qing dynasty's 'A poem on porcelain at the Imperial kilns: a slogan for the jade jug spring': 'An ancient jar holding wine and then pinning flowers is a family of flowers and wine'. In the poem 'A Hundred Songs on the Plum Blossoms' from the Yuan dynasty, we can also understand the origin of the bottle: 'A flower in a bottle of plum blossoms, a bottle of water to nurture innocence, and a precious bottle on a table. It is clear that the jade vase was used for plum blossoms at this time.

During the Ming dynasty, the jade bottle developed into a thoroughly ornamental vase and flower vessel. The form is standard, with a lavish mouth and a plunging neck, and a pendulous belly and footrim. It is decorated with a full range of patterns in glaze and red, and the decoration is layered in such a way that it is not confusing. The rim of the mouth is decorated with a continuous band of scrolling grasses, the lines of which are slender and graceful. The body of the bottle is painted in seven layers, including a banana leaf motif, a back motif, a sea wave motif, a ruyi cloudhead motif, an entwined floral motif, a backward lotus motif, and a scrolling grass motif. At the foot, the scrolling grass pattern echoes the pattern around the mouth, and the pattern continues in a continuous pattern. The main body of the bottle is decorated with a formalized water lily pattern, the branches of which are full and large, with a graceful and elegant tilt. The whole is densely laid out and richly layered, and the brushwork is unobtrusive, with the branches and vines being particularly graceful.

The production of red-glazed porcelain was highly valued by the court in the early Ming dynasty because, at the beginning of the Ming dynasty, when the Ming dynasty was established, the emperor took the ancient system and the systems of the Tang and Song dynasties as reference, and followed the idea of the five virtues, respecting fire virtue and redness. The History of the Ming Dynasty. The History of the Ming Dynasty. In the third year of the Hongwu ...... period, the Ministry of Rites said that the country had been different from the previous dynasties ...... and that it was appropriate to adopt the colours of the Zhou, Han, Tang and Song dynasties. This not only signifies that red was the supreme colour in the Ming dynasty, but also represents the imperial monopoly on the colour vermilion from a ceremonial point of view, and the reverence for the virtue of fire, which gave rise to the firing of a large number of glazes. There are very few pieces of this size with such colour.

A similar collection can be found in the Old Jade Vase in the Qing Palace Collection, in The Complete Collection of Cultural Treasures in the Palace Museum - Blue and White Glazed Red (above), plate 197. An example is also in the National Museum, Tokyo, in Oriental Ceramics. Volume 1. Another example in the Hong Xi Museum of Art, in Selected Chinese Ceramics, pp. 186-187, plate 74; a similar jade vase with a peony design is also in the former collection of Sir Harry Garner, Sotheby's, London, 21 November 1961, no. 24; and an example in the collection of Xu Zantang, "Zaiwang Shanzhuang", sold to us, Poly, Beijing, 5 June 2012 It was sold for RMB 5.06 million, no. 5955, 5 June 2012.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version).

Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited. A Romance Among Blooming Roses: The Meiyintang Collection of Three Dynasties Imperial Ceramics, Hong Kong, 2 Dec 2021