robustly potted with a compressed globular body tapering to a waisted neck and slightly everted mouthrim, all supported on a pedestal foot of corresponding form, the neck flanked by a pair of tubular lug handles, the broadest section of the body with two thin raised fillets, applied overall with a celadon glaze, the foot pierced with two apertures, inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character seal mark, wood stand, Japanese wood box (3)
Private Japanese Collection.
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, 1975 (loaned for permanent exhibition).
In excellent general condition, with the exception of two associated firing cracks to the foot, the first measuring 7mm, with an associated hairline extending a further 12mm up to the top of the foot. The second approximately 18mm to the left of the first, with an associated hairline measuring 14mm. This section of the foot has been polished so the vase does not stand completely straight. In addition, there are some burst glaze bubbles, minute glaze inclusions and light surface wear.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The present vase is an exceptional example of the technical perfection achieved by craftsmen working at the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen during the Yongzheng period. As with many Yongzheng and Qianlong period monochrome wares, this vessel is a reinterpretation of an archaic bronze hu
form which was first developed by craftsmen working at the Guan kilns. The pierced foot is also reminiscent of guan
wares which in turn were an adaptation of archaic bronzes. The original purpose of the apertures, as part of the casting process, has been transformed into a decorative attribute that also acknowledges the glory of the past. The elegant lines and simple molded horizontal ribs draw attention to the attractive form and the lustrous glaze. Two other closely related vases are known. The first, from the Avery Brundage collection and now in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is illustrated in He Li, Chinese Ceramics. A New Standard Guide
, New York, 1996, pl. 545; the second, illustrated in Chugoku no toji
[Chinese ceramics], Tokyo, 1955, cat. no. 387, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th October 2014, lot 3601. For another vase of this form, but covered in a crackled guan
-type glaze, see Grand Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Corean Works of Art
, Yamanaka & Co., Osaka, 1934, cat. no. 608.
A great connoisseur of antique porcelain and with a discerning aesthetic sense for works of art, the Yongzheng emperor demanded the highest level of craftsmanship in the production of elegant and finely manufactured implements for personal enjoyment. Monochrome vessels required great skill in every stage of their production, from the purity of the clay and precision of the potting to the evenness of the glaze and control of the firing. The slightest irregularity would result in the rejection and destruction of the piece, thus pushing the craftsmen to the limits of their abilities, particularly in the production of large vessels such as the present. The subtle glaze has been created in imitation of Longquan celadon of the Song period (960-1279) and reflects the Qing emperors’ penchant for these early wares, which they not only collected but also commissioned from the imperial kilns. The delicate, almost watery tone of celadon was a Kangxi period innovation which was produced by lessening the amount of iron typically found in Song dynasty Longquan celadons. The glaze was further modified during the Yongzheng period to the fine bluish tone as seen on the present vase.