A SUPERB YELLOW-GROUND UNDERGLAZE-BLUE DECORATED 'DRAGON' VASE

Details
A SUPERB YELLOW-GROUND UNDERGLAZE-BLUE DECORATED 'DRAGON' VASE
QIANLONG SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD

The tall slender baluster vase of hexagonal section, finely painted on each side with a full-faced dragon grasping a shou medallion above a band of archaistic cicada blades, with further decorative bands encircling the base, the tall waisted neck with a shou character between archaistic foliate dragon motifs above and below, flanked by two pierced blue dragon handles, and between further formal borders, the shaded underglaze-blue with finely painted details reserved on a rich lemon-yellow ground suffused with a fine crazing
22 1/2 in. (57.1 cm.) high, box
Literature
Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 12, pl. 63.
Tokai Zenshu, Heibonsha Series, no. 16, fig. 9
Sotheby's Hong Kong, Twenty Years, 1993, no. 365, sold 19 May 1982, lot 323.

Lot Essay

Vases of this shape and design are very rare. Only three other vases of this type are known: the pair from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Nipon of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, sold in New York, 7 December 1983, lot 382; and another from the Nanjing Museum which was included in the Chinese University of Hong Kong exhibition, Qing Imperial Porcelain, 1995, Catalogue, no. 78, and illustrated again in Imperial Kiln Porcelain of Qing Dynasty: Gems of Collections in Nanjing Museum, Shanghai, 1997, no. 29, where the author suggested wares of this type was specially made to commemorate the emperor's sixtieth birthday.

A related vase with broader proportions and varying decorative borders is included in the Min Chiu Society Exhibition of Ch'ing Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1968, Catalogue, no. 18.

This hexagonal baluster shape was inspired by a Ming prototype. Cf. the Wanli-marked blue and white vase with loop handles in the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated by Lion-Goldschmidt in Porcelaine Ming, pl. 184.

(US$640,000-900,000)

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