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A FINE AND RARE GILT-SPLASHED BRONZE OCTAGONAL VASE
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A FINE AND RARE GILT-SPLASHED BRONZE OCTAGONAL VASE

INCISED QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-95)

Details
A FINE AND RARE GILT-SPLASHED BRONZE OCTAGONAL VASE
INCISED QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-95)
Of ovoid shape with a tall slightly flaring neck, applied with two octagonal tubular handles, finely and crisply cast around the body with a wide band of four equi-distant flower heads amongst European-style scrolling foliage, above a band of pendent cicada-wing lappets, the shoulder with a band of key pattern above ruyi heads and below stiff leaves around the neck, the bronze with dark greenish-brown patina sparsely highlighted with bright gilt splashes
6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm.) high
Literature
R. Soame Jenyns & William Watson, Chinese Art, London, 1963, no.67, p. 149
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Miniature vessels, such as the present lot, were particularly appreciated by the literati class. They were valued for their high artistic content, revealing at once technical perfection and aesthetic refinement combined with multiple layers of symbolism, thus stimulating the senses and the mind at the same time. They were displayed in collector's cabinets (also referred to as 'multi-tiered' treasure boxes) which were placed in the scholar's studio, as depicted in numerous genre paintings dated from the Ming to Qing periods. With the evolving trend towards displaying aesthetic rather than functional objects in the cabinets, miniaturisation developed reaching its apogee under the reign of Qianlong. The shape and some of the design elements of this vase reflect Qianlong's taste for archaism, although interestingly the foliate scroll of the principal band is inspired by Western decorative style. The vase successfully combines these two seemingly incongruous styles and is a unique piece that is typical of the Qianlong period.

Compare the double vase sold in these Rooms, 16 November 1999, lot 106, which bears a very similar incised mark as the present lot and is from the same group of miniature vases. Another almost identical double vase with the same incised four-character mark is in the Clague Collection, exhibited, China's Renaissance in Bronze, Phoenix Art Museum, 25 September 1993 - 30 January 1994, Catalogue, no.40, pp.190-191.
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