• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12555

    The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

    1 June 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 3229

    A MAGNIFICENT LARGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL CENSER AND COVER, FANGDING

    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MAGNIFICENT LARGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL CENSER AND COVER, FANGDING
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
    The tapering rectangular censer is decorated on each side with raised flanges separating a taotie mask below a band of separate stylised dragons against a eiwen ground. The body is supported on blade-shaped legs decorated with archaistic scrollwork emerging from gilt-bronze animal heads. The galleried rim is cast with keyfret and surmounted by two upright loop handles, each enamelled with a taotie mask above scrolling archaistic dragons. The tapering sides of the cover are cast with four openwork gilt panels with bats amid swirling clouds, surrounded by archaistic dragons. The cover is surmounted by a gilt finial in the form of a recumbent lion with curly mane, placing one paw on a brocade ball.
    30 1/2 in. (77.5 cm.) high


    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

    Contact the department

    This superbly cast and enamelled censer is almost identical to the one in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Enamels - 3 - Cloisonne in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2011, pl. 226.

    The shape of this censer is based upon ancient bronze vessels. The blade-shaped legs, loop handles and flanges, along with the wide spreading taotie masks, all have their prototypes in Zhou dynasty bronzes, many of which are illustrated in Xiqing gujian, 'Inspection of Antiques from the Zhou Dynasty', the catalogues of ancient bronzes in the Qing Court Collection compiled under the authorization of the Qianlong emperor in 1755. Compare also to a Qianlong-marked fangding with cover, also decorated with taotie design and with flat dragon-form legs, is in the collection of the National Palace Museum, illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999, no. 59. Further examples from the Qing Court Collection include two censers in the Palace Museum, one dated to the early Qing period and with a gilt openwork cover and lion finial, the other with a Qianlong six-character mark but without a cover, illustrated in Enamels - 2 - Cloisonne in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2011, pls. 68 and 245.

    Compare also to a Qianlong-marked example from the Mandel Collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2012, lot 3908.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION


    Literature

    Reverence and Perfection: Magnificent Imperial Cloisonné Enamels from a Private European Collection, Hong Kong, 2013, no. 4