Lot 1323
  • 1323

A RARE PAIR OF CLOISONNE ENAMEL BOXES AND COVERS QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD

Estimate
8,000,000 - 10,000,000 HKD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

THIS IS A PREMIUM LOT. CLIENTS WHO WISH TO BID ON PREMIUM LOTS ARE REQUESTED TO COMPLETE THE PREMIUM LOT PRE-REGISTRATION 3 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO THE SALE.



each of compressed globular form resting on a wide foot, finely decorated in bright cloisonné enamels on a turquoise-ground, the centre with a main circular panel with a large chun character and a medallion enclosing Shoulao and his deer, flanked by a pair of five-clawed dragons amid cloud swirls and above a large bowl filled with the 'flaming pearl' and auspicious emblems, encircled by four lobed panels each vividly depicting different scenes with a scholar and boy engaged in various leisurely pursuits in landscape scenes filled with rockwork and lush vegetation including willow, bamboo, pine and paulownia, divided by four of the 'babao', the heads of Shoulao and the figures delicately modelled in relief as gilt-bronze appliqués, the box similarly decorated with lobed panels enclosing four scenes and divided by four emblems completing the 'babao', the base decorated with prunus blossoms on a 'cracked-ice' ground       

Provenance

Removed from the Yuanmingyuan, Beijing, 1860.
Thence by descent in the collection of a European family since the 19th century.
Christie's Hong Kong, 28th October 2002, lot 772.

Catalogue Note

This appears to be the only cloisonné enamel vessels with relief gilt-bronze appliqués.  It is interesting to note that the relief elements were only reserved for faces, allowing the artist to capture facial expressions in greater detail.

It is also rare to find cloisonné enamel boxes decorated with the medallion of Shoulao and the large chun (Spring) character, a design element more typically used on Qing imperial lacquer boxes. For example see a covered lacquer box in the Museum of East Asian Art, Berlin, illustrated in Regina Krahl, 'Chinese Imperial Lacquer in Berlin', Orientations, October 2000, p. 88, fig. 11 left; and another with a Qianlong reign mark and of the period, in the Nanjing Museum, which holds part of the former imperial collection, included in Zhongguo qiqi quanji, vol. 6, Fuzhou, 1993, pl. 213.    

Although cloisonné enamel boxes of this form and design are rare, a similar box from the Kitson collection was sold twice in our London rooms, 21st February 1961, lot 263, and again, 11th July 1972, lot 22. The design of prunus blossoms against a background of cracked ice, as seen on the base, was especially popular during the Qing dynasty and can be found on cloisonné enamel pieces of various forms, including a Kangxi altar set, comprising a censer, a pair of candlesticks and a pair of vases, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamel Ware of the Ch'ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999, pp. 97-100, pls. 26-28. This design symbolizes the arrival of Spring which is in harmony with the design of the cover.  

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