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A PAIR OF FINE FAMILLE ROSE YELLOW-GROUND SQUARE JARDINIERES
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A PAIR OF FINE FAMILLE ROSE YELLOW-GROUND SQUARE JARDINIERES

JIAQING IRON-RED SEAL MARKS AND OF THE PERIOD (1796-1820)

Details
A PAIR OF FINE FAMILLE ROSE YELLOW-GROUND SQUARE JARDINIERES
JIAQING IRON-RED SEAL MARKS AND OF THE PERIOD (1796-1820)
Each brightly enamelled around the exterior with various blooms borne on leafy stems and delicately picked out in pink, white and light blue enamels, the wide everted rim with a geometric scroll, all supported on four small bracket feet
5¼ in. (13.3 cm.) square, wood stands (2)
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Judging from the quality and style of the decoration on this rare pair of jardinieres they must have been made in the early part of the Jiaqing reign when the artistic influences from the Qianlong reign were still strong and the same craftsmen were employed at the imperial kilns. The quality of the enamel painting is very fine and compares well with Qianlong yellow ground vessels such as the vase with panels depicting children at play in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing (illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum 39 Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose, pp. 32-3, no. 27), the yellow ground base of a bowl with pierced cover, also in the Palace Museum (illustrated ibid., pp. 90-1, no. 79), and an elaborate imperial yellow ground cricket cage in the same collection (illustrated ibid., p. 165, no. 146). This latter piece is of particular interest because, like the current jardinieres, sections of the vessel are painted to resemble vermilion lacquer with gold decoration. In the case of the cricket cage it is the stand and handles, while in the case of the jardinieres it is the feet.

The feature of including integral stands or feet made of porcelain, but enamelled to resemble other material became a feature of imperial ceramics in the Qianlong reign and can be seen on a number of fine porcelains from that reign period. A well known example is the sedan chair vase in Sir Percival David's collection (illustrated by R. Scott in Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration - Four Dynasties of Jingdezhen Porcelain, London, 1992, p. 164, no. 189).

The painting of the exotic floral scrolls on the current pair of jardinieres is particularly close to the scrolls on a Qianlong yellow ground bowl from the Palace collection in the Nanjing Museum (illustrated in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p. 243) and a Jiaqing yellow ground bowl from the Palace Museum, Beijing (illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum 39 Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose, op. cit., p. 205, no. 181).

Elegant plant pots and stands with enamelled decoration of exotic floral scrolls against coloured grounds came to prominence amongst imperial porcelains of the Qianlong reign (see The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, op. cit., pp. 246-61), but few survive from the Jiaqing reign, and it seems possible that such pieces were only made in the first part of the reign. The current rare examples, like those of the Qianlong reign could have been used either as stands for matching plant pots, or alone to contain bulbs or penzai miniature landscapes.

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