Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS
3 More
PROPERTY FROM THE TIBOR COLLECTION
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS

YONGZHENG PERIOD (1723-1735)

Details
A LARGE PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE ROSE JARS AND COVERS
YONGZHENG PERIOD (1723-1735)
Each finely enameled in a vibrant famille rose palette with a continuous scene from "The Lady Generals of the Yang Family", one jar with a tranquil depiction of the ladies being poled through a lotus pond, picking blooms, while one kneels before the family chieftain, offering him a prize lotus. The other jar showing officials on a balcony watching the Lady Generals as they practice for battle, galloping through a rose arbor below, one rider with her whip in her mouth while she fixes her hair, one official straddling the railing in his excitement, all below a border of multi-colored interlocking rings on the shoulder, the interlocking rings repeated around the domed covers below vignettes of further ladies on a lotus pond, the knops biscuit Buddhist lions with green tails and manes of blue curls
26 ½ in. (67.3 cm.) high, each
Provenance
Acquired from The Chinese Porcelain Co., New York, 1999.
Literature
M. Kaelin, Important Chinese Export Porcelain from Kangxi to Jiaqing, The Chinese Porcelain Co., October 1999.

Brought to you by

Book an appointment
Book an appointment

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay


During the Yongzheng period (1723-1735), as the full palette became available to Chinese enamellers for the first time, they concentrated on improving their techniques and skills and in only a short period of time were able to achieve high artistic standards which have never been surpassed.
"The Generals of the Yang Family" was a Chinese folkloric novel from the Ming dynasty, 'Yang Jia Jiang', celebrating the Yang family for their military prowess and their loyalty to the Emperor during the unstable Northern Song dynasty (960-1279). Three generations of Yang Generals were victorious in battles protecting China from northern invaders in this period. But the most poignant loyalty story of the Yang family is that of the Lady Generals, wives who rode out to battle to avenge their husbands' deaths, a tragedy that had resulted from a traitorous defection. Depictions of the female generals constitutes a revolutionary approach to the image of women in Imperial China.
The lotus is long associated with purity in China and also, as it rises anew from mud each morning to emerge in the light, with unwavering faith and loyalty. Thus the lotus here are a clear reference to the loyalty of the Yang family, while on the other jar the Lady Generals practice for battle with bamboo rods in place of swords, their fancy robes and sweet expressions - one even fixes her hair, her rod held in her teeth - seeming to belie the violence of their mission. Clearly by this period, some six centuries later, the story has become less a grim story of revenge and more a happy-ending tale of virtue.
A pair of similarly decorated large jars and covers was sold at Christie's New York, 25 January 2011, lot 98; a magnificent pair of fishbowls with this decoration that had been in the collection of Sir Henry Price, Wakehurst Place, East Sussex, was sold in The Exceptional Sale, Christie's Paris, 4 November 2015, lot 528.

More from The Exceptional Sale

View All
View All