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A VERY RARE CELADON-GLAZED RELIEF-DECORATED BALUSTER VASE
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF TOM AND RUTH JONES
A VERY RARE CELADON-GLAZED RELIEF-DECORATED BALUSTER VASE

QIANLONG SEAL MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A VERY RARE CELADON-GLAZED RELIEF-DECORATED BALUSTER VASE
QIANLONG SEAL MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
The tapering body is finely decorated in relief with a band of leafy flower scroll bearing four large blossoms between a band of narrow chrysanthemum petals below and a ruyi collar on the rounded shoulder. The tall neck is decorated on each side with a pair of confronted archaistic birds between bow-string borders and repeated on the pair of tubular handles, all below a ruyi band at the flared rim. The vase is covered overall with a glaze of soft sea-green color that thins on the raised decoration and rims. Together with fitted 19th century French ormolu mounts.
Vase 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm.) high
Provenance
Nellie Lisa Bass, Baroness Burton (1873-1931).
George Evan Michael Baillie, Baron Burton (1894-1952).
Michael Evan Victor Baillie, Baron Burton (1924-2013)
Partridge Fine Arts Ltd., London, September 1984.
Exhibited
On loan: Birmingham City Art Gallery, circa 1950-1983.

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Lot Essay

This elegant vase was formerly in the collection of Baroness Burton (1873-1931), a passionate collector of porcelain and French furniture. She and her husband owned Chesterfield House, Mayfair, London, the superb rococo palace built in the 1740s designed by Isaac Ware for the 1st Lord Chesterfield. A series of photographs of its famous interiors, filled with Baroness Burton's collection, were taken by Bedford Lemere circa 1910.
The form of this vase finds its origins in the Ming and Yuan dynasties. Compare a Ming Longquan celadon vase in The British Museum, illustrated by J. Harrison Hall in Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p. 472 no. 16:27, decorated on the body with similar leafy floral scrolls. Compare, also, a blue and white Xuande-marked vase of similar proportions, and with similar handles, illustrated in Zhongguo guojia bowuguan guancang wenwu yanjiu congshu: ciqi juan: Ming dai (National Museum of China Series: Porcelain: Ming dynasty), Shanghai, 2007, no. 31. These features can both be found in the present vase.
In the 18th century, the Jingdezhen imperial kilns devoted considerable research and development to the production of celadon glazes applied to a white porcelain body. In the Qianlong reign, these fine celadon glazes were sometimes used on undecorated pieces - the perfection of the glaze enhancing the elegance of the form. However, celadon glazes were also applied to porcelain vessels with low relief surface decoration, which had become somewhat bolder and more formal in the Qianlong reign. The present vase is an excellent example of the refined effect that could be created by the use of the carved decoration on a monochrome porcelain vessel.
A Qianlong-marked, celadon-glazed vase with similar tubular handles and archaistic dragons around the neck, but of hexagonal form, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Ethereal Elegance, Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 11 November 2007 - 30 March 2008, pp. 184-85, no. 50.

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