AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE
AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE
AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE
3 More
AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE
6 More
THE WANG XING LOU COLLECTION OF IMPERIAL QING DYNASTY PORCELAIN
AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE

YONGZHENG SIX-CHARCTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE-CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)

Details
AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE AND COPPER-RED DECORATED 'LOTUS' DOUBLE-GOURD VASE
YONGZHENG SIX-CHARCTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE-CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)
The elaborately potted vase is decorated to the globular body with large copper-red lotus heads amidst cobalt blue leafy tendrils. The collared neck terminates in a bulbous mouth with a pair of strap-shaped handles with ruyi-head terminals, all similarly decorated with further scrolling lotus. The foot is encircled by a band of stylised upright lotus lappets.
10 1⁄2 in. (26.6 cm.) high
Provenance
Madam Huang Hsi Chih (1922-1999) acquired from her parents General Huang Fu (1883-1936) and Madam Shen Yiyun (1894-1971), before 1948
Madam Huang Hsi Chih's estate, Connecticut
Sold at Christie's New York, 21 March 2000, lot 351
Literature
Robert Jacobsen, Ye Peilan and Julian Thompson: Imperial Perfection.The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors, Kangxi - Yongzheng - Qianlong, Hong Kong, 2004, p. 78-82, no. 25
Exhibited
On loan to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2003-2020

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

Vases of this double-gourd form were sometimes referred as shuangxi baozhuping, ‘double happiness precious pearl vase’, in palace archives. According to an inventory list in the palace archives, in the 12th month of Guangxu 30th year (1904), ‘five blue and red shuangxi baozhuping with Yongzheng marks’ were stored in the Dongshun Shanfang complex in the palace, very likely referring to underglaze blue and red double-gourd vases like the present example.

This form of double-gourd vases with ribbon-like handles first appeared during the Yongzheng period and can be found in a number of different glazes and designs. However, examples decorated in underglaze blue and red like the present vase are particularly rare, due to the tremendous difficulty in successfully firing the copper-red pigment. The production of fine copper red decoration was so sensitive that great care has to be taken with the preparation and density of copper oxide, the composition of the glaze, the temperature and degree of reduction in the firing, and the placement of the vessels within the kiln. The present vase, which gracefully combines brilliant copper red and vibrant cobalt blue pigments fired with precision, is an exceptionally remarkable example among this rare group.

A closely related example is a Yongzheng copper red and underglaze blue vase of the same form and design in the Tianjin Municipal Museum, illustrated in Porcelains from the Tianjin Municipal Museum, Hong Kong, 1993, no. 146. Another vase of this shape and design but slightly smaller in size (23.5 cm high) is in the Nanjing Museum collection (fig 1.), illustrated in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Porcelain, Shanghai, 2003, p. 128. Another similar vase with decoration in underglaze blue and copper red, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 1-2 November 1994, lot 178.

Compare also to a slightly smaller Yongzheng vase (22.9 cm.) of the same form and decoration but in underglaze blue only, formerly in the British Rail Pension Fund Collection, later sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 April 2001, lot 559. Yongzheng vases of this form are also found with monochrome glazes. Two examples moulded with lotus scrolls and formal bands on the waisted neck are in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi Yongzheng Qianlong: Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 271, pl. 100 for a light blue-glazed vase, and p. 294, no. 123, for a green-glazed one.

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