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27 août 2022

A pair of imperial inscribed famille rose 'garden landscape' wall vases, Qianlong marks and period (1736-1795)


Lot 3412. A pair of imperial inscribed famille rose 'garden landscape' wall vases, Qianlong marks and period (1736-1795). H 51cm. Sold for HKD 4,560,000 (Estimate HKD 3,800,000 - 4,800,000)© Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited 2022

The decoration is clearly influenced by the Western Rococo style of decoration, with a compact and full-bodied layout, bright and dazzling colours, and a delicate and refined brushwork. One of the bottles has a poem inscribed in ink on its belly in the imperial style: 'Officially, you are a famous product, and the new bottle is even better. The bottle is a perfect example of this. It is hung in a light carriage and pinned with wild flowers. The red dust is so close, the fragrance is so fragrant that it can be seen through the veil. This poem is included in The Complete Poems and Writings of Emperor Gaozong of the Qing Dynasty, and is entitled 'A Winged Vase'. With two seals of the artist in red, Qian and Long, one in vermilion and one in white. The foot is inscribed in seal script, Qianlong nian zhi ('Made during the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty') in six characters. The form is neat, the colours bright and rich, and the atmosphere extremely royal.

Provenance1. Collection of American collectors
2. Sotheby's, New York, 21 March 2018, no. 545.

Note: The Qianlong emperor was fond of decorating his court with wall vases, and fourteen of them were hung on the east wall of the Sanxi Hall in the Yangxin Hall, where he treasured rare calligraphy, and he also used them as hangings on his imperial palace for viewing on his way. There are seven poems in The Complete Poems and Writings of Emperor Gaozong of the Qing Dynasty, which are repeated over and over again, showing how much he cherished them.

A wall vase is also known as a sedan chair vase or hanging vase, because it is hung on a wall. They were first made in the Ming dynasty, but it was not until the Qianlong dynasty that they became popular with the emperor. There are numerous records of wall vases being made and displayed in the Qing dynasty, for example: 'On the 14th day of the 6th month (of the 11th year of the Qianlong reign), the fourth treasury, Bai Shixiu, came to say that the eunuch Hu Shijie had handed over a sedan chair vase. ...... The order was that six hanging vases should be made according to the model of this sedan chair vase. The house canopy hanging two pieces, to add lotus flowers on the brocade, leaving empty hall to write poetry, ...... all first drawing samples to show, on time to Jiangxi firing. This ...... June 18, the treasurer Bai Shixiu will draw the jade to add lotus flowers on the sedan vase size two hold in, handed to the eunuch Hu Shijie to present. The two large sedan chair vases and four small sedan chair vases were made in Jiangxi. ...... On the 26th of November, the seventh-ranking chief Sa Muha sent two pairs of hanging vases with lotus flowers on a red ground and one pair of small hanging vases with lotus flowers on a yellow ground. ...... is brought in and handed over to the eunuch Hu Shijie for presentation. The vases ...... are to be handed over to the chief steward of the Yuanmingyuan Garden for storage. This is the order.

Translated with (free version).

Poly Auction Hong Kong Limited. Palatial Splendour: Imperial Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 2 Dec 2021