• Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works  auction at Christies

    Sale 2196

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    15 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 467

    A FINE AND RARE PAIR OF FAMILLE ROSE VASES

    DAOGUANG SEAL MARKS IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)

    Price Realised  

    A FINE AND RARE PAIR OF FAMILLE ROSE VASES
    DAOGUANG SEAL MARKS IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)
    Each with tapering ovoid body decorated with four bats alternately suspending a ribbon-tied chime or a peach above a lotus spray with scrolling tendrils, all surrounded by hibiscus scroll above a band of petal lappets and below bands of ruyi heads and flower sprays on the sloping shoulder, the neck similarly decorated between two small blue scroll handles, all below an out-curved mouth rim with shaped edge corresponding to the ruyi decoration, painted in a famille rose palette reserved on a white ground
    12¾ in. (32.5 cm.) high, boxes (2)


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    The everted ruyi head-form rims on the present vases appear to be based on imperial Qianlong period examples. See a famille rose-decorated Qianlong mark and period vase with closely related, though slightly more pronounced everted ruyi head rim in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 137, no. 120. Another Qianlong mark and period famille rose-decorated vase with similar ruyi-head rim is in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Selected Porcelain of the Flourishing Qing Dynasty at the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1994, p. 304, no. 36. However, the relatively small handles on the present vases seem to be closely related to wares found during the reign of the Daoguang emperor. Compare the handles on three vases, all bearing Shende Tang marks and dated to the Daoguang period, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, pp. 213-5, nos. 188-90. A fourth vase with similar small handles, bearing a Daoguang seal mark, is illustrated ibid., p. 216, no. 191. It is interesting to note that all four vases have a border of ruyi heads below the rim.

    The symbolism found in the decoration of the present vases is especially auspicious. According to Terese Tse Bartholomew in Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 27, the combination of bats (fu) and an endless knot (panchang) forms the rebus fushou mianchang, or 'may you have endless blessings and longevity.' The stone chime seen pendent from the endless knot is one of the 'Eight Treasures' (babao), and is a pun for 'celebrate' and 'auspicious happiness.'

    Compare the similar decoration found on a Jiaqing period famille rose vase in The Huaihaitang Collection, included in the exhibition, Ethereal Elegance: Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 11 November 2007 - 30 March 2008, p. 377, no. 136.

    Provenance

    Acquired circa 1960s-1974, and thence by descent within the family.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JAMES H. KELLEY


    Post Lot Text

    END OF SALE