• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2389

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 November 2007, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1767

    A FINELY PAINTED FAMILLE ROSE FIGURAL CUP

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FINELY PAINTED FAMILLE ROSE FIGURAL CUP
    JIAQING IRON-RED FOUR-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1796-1820)

    Painted to one side in pastel enamels highlighted in iron-red and gilt depicting the standing figure of Dong Xian holding a hu tablet in his right hand before him, flanked by two inscriptions describing the life and story of Dong Xian, one of the inscriptions enclosed within a border of precious objects
    3¼ in. (8.2 cm.) diam.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 14 November 1989, lot 306 (one of two).

    The inscription alludes to an anecdote concerning the Han Emperor Ai (Aidi 27 BC - 1 BC) who was renowned for being bi-sexual. Aidi woke up one day with the young man Dong Xian cradled on his arm sound asleep. So as not to disturb Dong, Aidi cut off his sleeve and slipped out his arm to attend to his court duties. The term 'passion of the torn sleeve' came to be synonymous with male homosexual love. Aidi died young from ailments due to overindulgence. Dong and his wife committed suicide under pressure from the new reign. The story became a cautionary tale and would have appealed to the Emperor Jiaqing who was known as a conscientious and frugal monrach.

    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF AN AMERICAN GENTLEMAN