A wucai 'month' cup, Mark and period of Kangx

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Lot 236. A wucai 'month' cup, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); Height 5.3 cm, 2¼ in. Lot sold: 63,000 GBP (Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

the base with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue.

Provenance: Collection of Carl Gustav Kjellin (1910-1990), acquired in Shanghai in the 1940s.

Note: Month cups depicting seasonal flowers accompanied by pertinent two-line poems represent a classic design of the Kangxi period (r. 1662-1722). Very delicately potted, they are painted in the proper wucai palette of underglaze blue and overglaze enamels, which was devised in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), but rarely used in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), when the underglaze colour was generally omitted. On these month cups the designs are generally sketched on the unglazed porcelain in a faint underglaze blue.

The poem on the present cup may be translated as follows: 

 'The swallow returns when the blossoms sway in the breeze,

 It is the season in late spring when farmers return to their fields.'

Compare a similar cup from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. E. Toeg, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Enamelled Polychrome Porcelain of the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1912), London, 1951, cat. no. 253, and sold twice in these rooms, 3rd December 1963, lot 147, and 14th July 1970, lot 204; another example, from the YC Chen collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29th May 2013, lot 1911.

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Lot 237. pair of yellow-ground green and aubergine-enamelled 'dragon' dishes, Marks and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); Diameter 13.5 cm, 5¼ in. Lot sold: 63,000 GBP (Estimate: 10,000 - 20,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

base of each with a six-character reign mark within a double circle in aubergine enamel.

Provenance: Collection of Carl Gustav Kjellin (1910-1990), acquired in Shanghai in the 1940s.

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Lot 242. doucai hexagonal 'landscape' jardinière, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); Width 59.5 cm, 23½ in. Lot sold: 151,200 GBP (Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

the underside of the rim with a horizontal six-character reign mark in underglaze blue.

ProvenanceFrench Private Collection.

Note: The present piece is striking for the delicately painted landscape scenes in doucai palette and belongs to a distinct group of sturdily potted Kangxi mark and period jardinières of hexagonal form. The colours are clear and crisp, applied in a harmonious balance of soft and vibrant tones, endowing the bucolic scene a sense of dynamism and vivacity. The boldness of the enamels and scale of the vessel mark a departure from delicate, restrained doucai porcelains of the Ming dynasty. The brushwork, too, places the jardinière in a mature phase of Qing dynasty porcelain production. Peter Y. K. Lam, in ‘Lang Tingji and the Porcelain of the Late Kangxi Period’, Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 68, 2003-2004, p. 44, suggests that jardinières of this type were produced in the latter years of the Kangxi reign, possibly commissioned for the Emperor’s 70th birthday, which would have occurred in 1723. 

Related jardinières include one painted with various scenes of immortals and attendants, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum. Enamelled Ware of the Ch’ing Dynasty, vol. 1, Hong Kong, 1969, pl. 4; and another, sold at Christie’s New York, 16th September 2011, lot 1549. Compare other doucai jardinières, such as a rectangular one, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, accession gu-00156989; and another, sold at Sotheby’s Parke-Bernet Galleries, 15th June 1983, lot 341.

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Lot 330. famille-verte 'figural' dishQing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Width 59.5 cm, 23½ in. Lot sold: 18,900 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

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Lot 331. famille-verte 'figural' bowl, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Diameter 18.5 cm, 7¼ in. Lot sold: 3,780 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European Private Collection.

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Lot 332. famille-verte 'figural' rouleau vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Height 19.5 cm, 7⅝ in. Lot sold: 21,420 GBP (Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

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Lot 333. A pair of famille-verte 'lady and child' saucer dishes, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Diameter 15.2 cm, 6 in. Lot sold: 30,240 GBP (Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

ProvenanceOne dish : Hancock, London (label).

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Lot 334. Two famille-verte quadrilobed 'mythical beast' vases, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Height 29 cm, 11¼ in. Lot sold: 5,292 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

Provenance: Spink & Son Ltd., London, 22nd July 1988.

 

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Lot 335. Two famille-verte 'flowers and bird' bottle vases, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Height of taller 17 cm, 6¾ in. Lot sold: 7,560 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

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Lot 336. A pair of underglaze-blue, iron-red and gilt decorated 'Precious objects and Bajixiang' saucer dishes, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Diameter 15.5 cm, 6⅛ in. Lot sold: 3,780 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

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Lot 337. A pair of pair of famille-verte two-handled octagonal vases and stands, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Height 22.1 cm, 8¾ in. Lot sold: 7,560 GBP (Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

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Lot 339. A famille-verte 'flowers and bird' saucer dish, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Diameter 20.8 cm, 8¼ in. Lot sold: 4,410 GBP (Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

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Lot 340. famille-verte 'flowers and bird' saucer dish, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period (1662-1722); Diameter 17.5 cm, 6⅞ in. Lot sold: 2,520 GBP (Estimate: 2,000 - 3,000 GBP). © 2022 Sotheby's.

Property from a European private collection.

ProvenanceSpink & Son Ltd., London.

Sotheby's. Monochrome, London, 2 November 2022