THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR
THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR
THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR
2 More
THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR
5 More
THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR

WANLI SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1573-1620)

Details
THE KESWICK ‘HUNDRED DEER’ JAR
A VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT WUCAI 'HUNDRED DEER' JAR
WANLI SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1573-1620)
The jar is boldly decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red enamel, and green, yellow, and aubergine glazes with the auspicious 'hundred deer' design. The deer are depicted resting, grazing and at playful leisure in a continuous landscape, all below a ruyi border on the shoulder beneath the neck decorated with floral sprays.
14 in. (35.6 cm.) high
Provenance
William Keswick (1834-1912), Eastwick Park, Great Bookham, Surrey, England.
Alice Henrietta Keswick Pyke (1874-1966).
Messrs. White and Sons, Capel Leyse House Sale, Surrey, 4 May 1967.
Marchant, London.

Brought to you by

Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪)
Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪) Senior Specialist, Head of Private sales, Chinese Works of Art, New York

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

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

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay


The Keswick “Hundred Deer” jar derives its name from its illustrious owner William Keswick (1834-1912), who prominently displayed the jar on the mantle of the drawing room at his luxurious home, Eastwick Park. (Fig. 1) Keswick was a prominent figure in the powerful business dynasty Jardine Matheson. His grandmother, Jean Jardine Johnstone, was an older sister of Dr. William Jardine, co-founder of Jardine Matheson. Keswick worked for the Jardines in China and Hong Kong starting in 1855, and in 1859 he established a branch of the firm in Japan. He became a partner of the firm, based in Hong Kong, in 1862. Keswick also held various posts during his tenure, including director of Hudson’s Bay Company, member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Hong Kong, Consul-general for the Kingdom of Hawaii, and consul for the Kingdom of Denmark in Hong Kong. His keen business acumen led him to oil interests in Peru, as well as involvement in railway companies and banks.

Keswick returned to England and settled into Eastwick Park in 1882. (Fig. 2) After serving as High Sheriff of Surrey in 1897, he was elected Member of Parliament for Epsom in 1899, serving until his resignation on 8 March 1912. He died the following day, leaving his second wife, Alice Henrietta Barrington (b. 1874) personal effects of £500,000 (roughly equivalent to £50 million today). Alice sold Eastwick Park in 1915 and married Cyril Cameron Pyke OBE (c. 1873-1951) of the Colonial Service. The couple resided at Capel Leyse, Surrey, where Alice remained until her death in 1966. The present jar was purchased at the Capel Leyse House sale in 1967, the year after her death.

The present jar is a particularly fine example of its type, featuring vivid cobalt blue and great animation of the interactions of the deer. A similar jar in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (Fig. 3), is illustrated in Ming Ci Ming Pin Tu Lu, Jiajing, Longqing, Wanli, The Catalogue of Famous Ming Porcelain from Japan and Taiwan, Tokyo, 1978, no. 101, and again by Liu Liang-Yu in Ming Official Wares: A Survey of Chinese Ceramics, Vol. 4, Taipei, 1991, p. 258. The Taipei jar has slightly higher shoulders than the present jar, and does not appear to have as fluid painting of the deer. Other similar jars of the same shape as the present jar include one in the Museé Guimet, Paris, illustrated in The World’s Great Collections, Oriental Ceramics, Vol. 7, Tokyo, 1981, no. 26, one in the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1965, p. 130, no. 538 (Fig. 4), and one in the Matsuoka Museum of Art, illustrated by M. Matsuoka in Catalogue of Masterpieces of Oriental Ceramics, Tokyo, 1991, no. 75. A pair of blue and white jars and covers with the 'hundred deer' theme, given to Queen Christina of Sweden (r. 1632-54) by the Portuguese ambassador in 1640, is illustrated in The World's Great Collections - Oriental Ceramics, Vol. 8 - Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Tokyo, 1982, fig. 247. This pair of jars is also illustrated in the introduction to this catalogue.

More from Marchant: Eight Treasures for the Wanli Emperor

View All
View All