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A MASSIVE AND EXCEPTIONAL IMPERIAL CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE WITH PHOENIX AND MASK HANDLES
PROPERTY FROM THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS, SOLD TO SUPPORT ART ACQUISITIONS AND COLLECTIONS CARE
A MASSIVE AND EXCEPTIONAL IMPERIAL CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE WITH PHOENIX AND MASK HANDLES

QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A MASSIVE AND EXCEPTIONAL IMPERIAL CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE WITH PHOENIX AND MASK HANDLES
QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
The magnificent vase is decorated to the compressed globular body with a band of archaistic blades against lotus scrolls, below a frieze of archaistic keyfrets, separated by three gilt mask handles with loose rings, the pattern similarly repeated around the foot. The long trumpet neck is decorated with upright plantain leaves enclosing scrolls, divided by scrolling lotus blossoms suspending bejewelled garlands, flanked on both sides with a pair of gilt handles each in the form of a phoenix with spreading wings and grasping a loose ring in the beak. The inner mouth is further decorated with a broad band of detached lotus scrolls against archaistic keyfrets.
26 3/16 in. (66.5 cm.) high
Provenance
George Walter Vincent Smith (1832-1923), Springfield, Massachusetts, acquired prior to 1910

Brought to you by

Marco Almeida (安偉達)
Marco Almeida (安偉達) SVP, Senior International Specialist, Head of Department

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Lot Essay

The present vase, with its magnificent size and elaborately cast handles was undoubtedly a remarkable technical feat at the time and is representative of Qing imperial cloisonné enamels of the highest quality. The combination of the phoenix and mask gilt handles create a striking visual impact which is well complemented by the colourful enamels on the exterior.

Compare to a massive vase of similar form, decorated with similar gilt-metal phoenix and mask handles with loose rings, measuring 80 cm. high including four gilt feet in mythical beast form, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum Enamels, vol. 3, no. 77 (fig. 1). Compare also to a smaller vase of this form (48.8 cm.) decorated with similar phoenix handles, also formerly in the Springfield Museums Collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 30 November 2020, lot 2909 (fig. 2)

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