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AN IMPORTANT AND VERY RARE CELADON-GLAZED PEAR-SHAPED VASE

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AN IMPORTANT AND VERY RARE CELADON-GLAZED PEAR-SHAPED VASE
YONGZHENG SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD

The vase has a compressed globular pear-shaped body rising from a spreading foot to an elegantly-waisted neck and trumpet mouth, and is moulded around the waist with a double rib, all covered in an even celadon glaze that pales at the ribs and mouth, and stops neatly at the rounded foot to reveal the smooth pale body
11 1/16 in. (28.2 cm.) high, box
Provenance
The J. M. Hu Family Collection, sold Sotheby's New York, 4 June 1985, lot 38.
Exhibited
Christie's London, An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 2-14 June 1993, Catalogue, no. 65.

Lot Essay

No other vase of this very unusual compressed shape appears to be published. The potter has achieved a remarkable evenness and limpid quality in this glaze, which is extremely complicated to fire to this consistent tone of palest celadon. As pointed out by R. Kerr, it was the renowned official, Tang Ying, effective controller of the official kilns at Jingdezhen between 1728-1756, who spearheaded research into the development of glazes copying as closely as possible other classic monochrome prototypes, Chinese Ceramics, p. 20.

This vase has an extremely rare form, not many pear-shaped vases are as deeply compressed with the centre of gravity so far down the lower body as in the present example. Firing a vase of this form successfully would have been extremely difficult, with a high probability of the body sagging or leaning to one side which may explain why no other vases of this full, elegant shape appear to be published. Most other pear-shaped vases are more closely related to the blue-glazed vase from the Yongzheng period included in the National Palace Museum exhibition of Qing monochromes, Taibei, Catalogue, 1981, no. 37.
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