• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1919

    A FINE AND VERY RARE DOUCAI AND FAMILLE ROSE 'BOYS' JAR

    Price Realised  

    A FINE AND VERY RARE DOUCAI AND FAMILLE ROSE 'BOYS' JAR
    QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER SEALMARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Finely potted with a compressed body raised on a low foot ring, the exterior decorated in doucai and famille rose palettes, depicting a garden scene with five boys playing, each boy holding an auspicious object such as a ruyi, an endless knot, a fish, a musical chime, and a vase with flowers, dressed loosely in short robes and trousers shaded in colourful enamels, on the side with bamboo issuing from rockwork, the neck encircled by a band of S-shaped scrolls in various colours within double-line borders
    3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm) high, box


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    The theme of 'boys' has been favoured by the Chinese for centuries, bearing the auspicious wish for fertility and numerous sons. Song dynasty court painter Su Hanchen (1094-1172) was particularly famous for depicting lively children at play with characteristic hair-styles and dressed in loose robes, and this style was continued into the Ming and the Qing dynasties as can be seen on paintings, ceramics and various works of art. The iconographic objects held by the boys on the jar are equally auspicious. The chime and the fish form the rebus: jiqing youyu, 'may there be good luck and abundance of fortune'; endless knot and ruyi sceptre signify all wishes come true; and the vase with flowers to provide a wish peace and wealth.

    No other identical example of the present jar appears to be recorded, although a closely related small Qianlong doucai bottle is in the Palace Museum collection, Beijing, is illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong, Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 68, p. 387. The Beijing vase is also decorated in the doucai and famille rose palettes depicting similar boys at play in a garden landscape.

    Provenance

    Previously sold:
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, 1 November 1994, lot 81
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, 31 October 2004, lot 106


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN