A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU
A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU
A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU
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A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU
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THE WANG XING LOU COLLECTION OF IMPERIAL QING DYNASTY PORCELAIN
A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU

QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER SEAL MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A VERY LARGE AND RARE BLUE AND WHITE ARCHAISTIC VASE, HU
QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER SEAL MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
The impressive vase is potted in imitation of an archaic bronze hu vessel with the body rising from a tall foot decorated with stylised ruyi-heads below a band of crashing waves. The oval-shaped body is moulded with raised bands decorated with scrolling flowers, suggesting straps and bosses of its archaic bronze prototype. The neck is decorated with a wide band of large flower heads interlinked by leafy tendrils, framed by two wave bands. The sides are applied with c-shaped handles, each moulded as a horned-dragonhead. All below a band of scrolling tendrils and an elaborate band of ruyi-heads with suspending tassels.
20 1⁄4 in. (51.4 cm.) high
Provenance
Collection of Baron Hisaya Iwasaki (1865-1955)
Sold at Sotheby's New York, 1-2 June 1993, lot 383
Literature
Robert Jacobsen, Ye Peilan and Julian Thompson: Imperial Perfection.The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors, Kangxi - Yongzheng - Qianlong, Hong Kong, 2004, pp. 52, no. 13
Exhibited
On loan to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1999-2020

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

The form of the present vase is inspired by archaic bronze prototypes, such as a Zhou dynasty bronze hu with a similar cross design enclosing a diamond-shaped centre and similar mask handles, illustrated in the Xiqing Gujian (Catalogue of Chinese ritual bronzes in the collecion of the Qianlong emperor), first published in 1793, in vol. 19 page 22 (fig. 1). Although other archaistic hu vases from the Qianlong period of this shape are known, it appears this is the only recorded underglaze blue decorated hu vase with this specific design.

The closest example is a Qianlong-marked blue and white hu of identical form and similar size and design, but with added floral designs within the four cartouches around the cross, in the Palace Museum Collection (fig. 2), illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red, III, Hong Kong, 2000, no. 138.

A teadust-glazed hu vase of similar shape, archaistic design and applied with very similar dragon handles from the Qianlong period was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 April 2002, lot 666. Another large guan-type archaistic hu vase with strips and bosses decoration from the Yongzheng period was sold at Christie’s London, 7 November 2017, lot 269.

Other related vases with various different glazes are known, including a Qianlong period guan-type vase, illustrated by Regina Krahl in Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. II, no. 873. Yongzheng period examples include a teadust-glazed vase, also in the collection of the Beijing Palace Museum, illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong: Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 298, pl. 127.

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