324
324

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF CHAO SZE KWONG GEORGE

AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE PEN BOX AND COVER
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
250,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 2,625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
324

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF CHAO SZE KWONG GEORGE

AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE PEN BOX AND COVER
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
250,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 2,625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese ‎Art including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family Collection

|
Hong Kong

AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE PEN BOX AND COVER
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
of rectangular form, the cover painted with interlaced ruyi and foliate scrolls, similarly decorated to the sides with archaistic kui dragon scrolls, the interior of the box divided into four compartments with three circular and one elongated quatrefoil openings, inscribed to the base with a six-character seal mark
22.1 cm, 8 3/4  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 23rd May 1978, lot 139.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 15th November 1983, lot 240.
Collection of T.Y. Chao (1912-1999), and thence by descent in the family.

Catalogue Note

Pen boxes of this elongated form were an essential part of the Islamic calligrapher’s accoutrement from the 13th century. Originally produced in metal, porcelain pen boxes began to be made at the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen during the Yongle reign and continued to be popular through the Ming and early Qing periods. Originally modelled with three openings to separately store the ink, a pair of scissors, plumes and a knife for shaping the plumes, this shape gradually changed to suit the requirements of Chinese calligraphers as seen in the reduced size of the compartments. Furthermore, decoration on pen boxes began to include motifs that conveyed auspicious messages, as seen on this piece which is painted on the cover with interlocking rings and ruyi heads.

Blue and white pen boxes painted with this design are rare and no other closely related example appears to have been published. Compare a Qianlong mark and period pen box decorated with a flower scroll on a ruby and yellow ground, illustrated in Zhou Lili, Qingdai Yongzheng – Xuantong Guanyao Ciqi [Qing Dynasty Official Wares from the Yongzheng to the Xuantong Reigns], Shanghai, 2014, pl. 3-52, together with a plain celadon-glazed example, pl. 3-15.

For the prototype of this form, see a blue and white box painted with a flower scroll and attributed to the early Ming dynasty, from the Sir Percival David Collection and now in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Stacey Pierson, Blue and White for China: Porcelain Treasures in the Percival David Collection, London, 2004, pl. 22; and one inset with rubies and jewels, attributed to the Hongzhi period, in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, illustrated in John Carswell, Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain Around the World, London, 2000, pl. 149a.

Chinese ‎Art including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family Collection

|
Hong Kong