A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN
A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN
A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN
A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN
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PROPERTY FROM THE TIANMINLOU COLLECTION
A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN

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

Details
A FINE AND EXCEEDINGLY RARE LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘FLORAL SCROLL’ BASIN
YONGZHENG SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)
13 3⁄8 in. (34 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Sold at Sotheby’s London, 9 December 1986, lot 243
Literature
- Chinese Porcelain in the S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong, 1987, no. 56
- Selected Treasures of Chinese Art: Min Chiu Society Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition, Hong Kong, 1990, p. 386-387, no. 178
- Liu Liang-yu, A Survey of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 5: Ch'ing Official and Popular Wares, Taipei, 1991, p. 94
- Blue and White Porcelain from the Tianminlou Collection, Taipei, 1992, p.196-197, no. 81
- Blue and White Porcelain from the Collection of Tianminlou Foundation, Shanghai, 1996, p/ 208-209, no. 87
Exhibited
- Hong Kong Museum of Art, Chinese Porcelain in the S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong, 1987, no. 56
- Hong Kong Museum of Art, Selected Treasures of Chinese Art: Min Chiu Society Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition, Hong Kong, 30 November 1900 – 10 February 1991, no. 178
- Chang Foundation, Blue and White Porcelain from the Tianminlou Collection, Taipei, 1992, no.81
- Shanghai Museum, Blue and White Porcelain from the Collection of Tianminlou Foundation, Shanghai, 1996, p/ 208-209, no. 87
Further details
COLLECTOR’S NOTE:
The collector recalls this Yongzheng basin was acquired from a London auction for quite a substantial sum in the 1980s. At the time, the market for Qing imperial porcelain had yet to gain universal recognition, but he and his father recognised it was very rare to find a basin of this type bearing a Yongzheng mark, and were determined to add this precious piece to their collection. The collector went through his hand-written records, and realised they paid more for this basin than the magnificent Yongzheng blue and white moonflask acquired around the same time (lot 2711 in this sale). The latter normally would be expected to fetch more in the market, showing the high regard they had for this exceptional basin and their unwavering determination to acquire it.

Brought to you by

Sherese Tong (唐晞殷)
Sherese Tong (唐晞殷) AVP, Senior Specialist

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Lot Essay

Basins of this form are modelled after Yongle and Xuande prototypes from the early 15th century. Interestingly, while there are considerable number of early Ming blue and white basins preserved in museum and private collections, extremely few Yongzheng basins of this type have survived.

According to Qing dynasty palace archives, this type of basin was known as ‘blue and white Western hat-form washer’. One record dating to Qianlong 3rd year (1778) 25th day of the 6th month, the Qianlong Emperor decreed that:

‘A Xuande blue and white Western hat-form washer’ was to be delivered to Tang Ying at the imperial kilns, where new copies based on this were to be fired. After which, the Xuande prototype should be returned to the porcelain storage within the palace.

For a Yongle basin of very similar shape and design, one can refer to the example formerly in the Le Cong Tang Collection and sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27 November 2017, lot 8002 (fig. 1). These early Ming porcelain prototypes are in turn based on metal basins from Islamic regions in the Near East, such as a Syrian/Egyptian brass basin with silver inlay dated to the 14th century in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by Feng Xianming, ‘Yongle and Xuande Blue-and-White Porcelain in the Palace Museum’, Chinese Ceramics Selected Articles from Orientations 1982-1998, Hong Kong, 1999, p. 177, fig. 10 (fig. 2).

Two Yongzheng-marked examples of identical shape and design have been published.
1) The first is in the National Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Pleasingly Pure and Lustrous: Porcelains from the Yongle Reign (1403-1424) of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 2017, p. 163 (fig. 3);
2) the second is in the Beijing Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Gugong Bowuyuan cang Qingdai yuyao ciqi [Porcelains from the Qing dynasty imperial kilns in the Palace Museum collection], vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 46 (fig. 4).

The current lot is possibly the only Yongzheng-marked basin in private collections.

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