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A FINE CELADON-GLAZED PEAR-SHAPED ARCHAISTIC 'DRAGON' VASE, HU QIANLONG SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD The vase is sturdily potted with a full rounded body rising to a waisted cylindrical neck, the shoulder is applied with two pierced dragon handles suspending rings, and a horizontal bow string, the body and neck are moulded with sinuous interlaced dragons and scrolls, the neck has a continuous band of wavy lines above six incised ruyi-heads at the shoulder, the foot with a single wavy line, covered in an even pale green glaze which stops at the rounded foot revealing the smooth pale body 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm.) high, box
W. W. Winkworth Collection, sold Sotheby's London, 12 December 1972, lot 161, and again in Hong Kong, 28 November 1979, lot 370.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, Twenty Years, 1993, no. 316.
Christie's London, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 2-14 June 1993, Catalogue, no. 72.

Lot Essay

A celadon vase from the Stephen D. Winkworth Collection, possibly the present vase, is illustrated by S. Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain, pl. C., fig. 2. Two other examples of the same form with similar motifs and reign marks are published; compare a pale lavender-glazed vase from the Warre Collection included in the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, London 1935, Catalogue, no. 228; and a vase with a creamy-white glaze in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, p. 264, no. 268. A nearly identical celadon-glazed vase, but with a Yongzheng mark, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, p. 276, no. 105.

The form and decorative motifs on this vase originate from Western Zhou bronzes similar to the examples illustrated by W. Watson, Ancient Chinese Bronzes, nos. 52 and 53. During the Qianlong period vases of this type were also simulated in fine jade, illustrating the ease in the transference of creative images using a variety of materials. One such example of an archaistic form transferred onto Qing jade is the spinach-jade hu-shaped vase illustrated by R. Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, no. 135.



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