• Property from the Collection o auction at Christies

    Sale 7819

    Property from the Collection of HRH The Prince George, Duke of Kent KG, KT, and HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent CI, GCVO and their families

    20 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 33

    A PAIR OF RARE CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE GREEN-GROUND HEXAFOIL TEA-TRAYS

    JIAQING IRON-RED SEALMARKS AND OF THE PERIOD (1796-1820)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF RARE CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE GREEN-GROUND HEXAFOIL TEA-TRAYS
    JIAQING IRON-RED SEALMARKS AND OF THE PERIOD (1796-1820)
    The interior of each tray with a hexafoil cartouche with gilt borders enclosing a long poem in praise of good tea, the sides delicately enamelled with meandering lotus and other floral scrolls, all reserved on a pale-green ground
    6¼ in. (16 cm.) wide (2)


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    The poem may be found on a small number of Jiaqing-period teapots and tea-trays, as it praises well-prepared tea. S.W. Bushell translates the poem in Oriental Ceramic Art (London, 1981 (1896), p. 239) as:
    'Finest tribute tea of the first picking
    And a bright full moon prompt a line of verse.
    A lively fire glows in the bamboo stove,
    The water is boiling in the stone griddle,
    Small bubbles rise like ears of fish or crab.
    Of rare Ch'i-ch'iang tea, rolled in tiny balls,
    One cup is enough to lighten the heart,
    And dissipate the early winter chill.'

    Two similar lime-green-ground teapots inscribed with the same poem are known: one from the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, is illustrated by Liu Liang-yu, A Survey of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 5, Taiwan, 1991, p. 216; and the other was sold at Sotheby's London, 6 December 1994, lot 212. Compare also a coral-ground teapot with the same poem, sold at Sotheby's London, 20 June 2001, lot 39; and a blue and white version sold Christie's London, 1 May 1995, lot 749. Liu also illustrates a lime-ground quatrefoil tray inscribed with the poem, ibid., p. 256.

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