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A Famille Rose Vase Yongzheng Well painted with a scene from the Yuan play 'Zhang Boils the Sea', showing the scholar, Zhang Yu, seen through a window as he plays the qin while his attendant dozes in the foreground, and two ladies, Qiong Lian and her attendant, listen from around the corner, the two standing in front of a large screen and the terrace railing, with three bats and constellations above rocks on the reverse, and lingzhi and bamboo sprigs on the waisted neck 17½in. (44.5cm.) high
Provenance
H.P. Hebblethwaite
The Works of Art Collection of the British Rail Pension Fund
Exhibited
Fairfax House, York, 1985 - 1988.
London, Christie's, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 2 - 14 June 1993, no. 95.

Lot Essay

The scene on this vase appears to derive from a woodblock print. See Liu Jung-en, Six Yuan Plays, Penguin Classics, trans., 1972, p. 161, for a Chongzhen period print which originally appeared in The Collection of Willow Branches, illustrating the same episode from Zhang Boils the Sea, by Li Haogu, active in the early 13th century.
Three vases of this shape and size similarly painted with intimate figural scenes, also most likely derived from print sources, are illustrated by W.G. Gulland, Chinese Porcelain, vol. II, London, 1918, nos. 717, 718 and 719. See, also, S. Bushell, Oriental Ceramic Art, New York, 1980 ed., col. pl. XXI; and a vase in the Louvre, illustrated by Vasselot and Ballot, Chinese Ceramics, pl. 32.

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