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A RARE FAMILLE VERTE CORAL-GROUND ROULEAU VASE
A RARE FAMILLE VERTE CORAL-GROUND ROULEAU VASE
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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LENORA AND WALTER F. BROWN
A RARE FAMILLE VERTE CORAL-GROUND ROULEAU VASE

KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)

Details
A RARE FAMILLE VERTE CORAL-GROUND ROULEAU VASE
KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)
The body is boldly decorated with four different depictions of Liu Hai and his three-legged toad, with two smaller figures on the neck, one depicting Li Bai, all reserved on a coral ground.
17 ¾ in. (45 cm.) high
Provenance
Louis Van der Heyden à Hauzeur (according to label).
Sotheby's Monaco, 9 February 1982, lot 134.
The Lenora and Walter F. Brown Collection, San Antonio, Texas.

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Lot Essay


This unusual vase depicts Liu Hai, dressed in an open robe with a fur wrap around his waist, in four different animated poses. He holds his vessel of cash in one, and seemingly surprises his toad in another. The details are beautifully rendered in black and famille verte enamels set against the coral ground. Liu Hai is the immortal associated with commercial success. He is nearly always portrayed with his three-legged toad and cash, and conveys a wish for prosperity. The three-legged toad itself has origins in the magical realm, representing the unattainable. It was only in later Chinese art that it was associated with Liu Hai. There are many versions of the story of Liu Hai and his toad companion, but the essential elements remain that as a reward for his friendship, the toad revealed the secret to eternal life. Holding the toad also allowed Liu Hai to travel anywhere in the world instantaneously. The subject became a favorite decorative motif across media throughout the Qing dynasty.

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