113
113
AN OUTSTANDING, FINE AND RARE COPPER-RED MOONFLASK
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 11,520,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
113
AN OUTSTANDING, FINE AND RARE COPPER-RED MOONFLASK
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
2,500,0003,500,000
LOT SOLD. 11,520,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art from the Collection of Sir Quo-Wei Lee

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Hong Kong

AN OUTSTANDING, FINE AND RARE COPPER-RED MOONFLASK
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
modelled after a Middle Eastern metal prototype, generously potted with a flattened spherical body set with two circular bosses at the sides, rising to a garlic neck flanked by a pair of angular strap handles with ruyi-shaped terminals on the shoulders, all supported on a stepped foot of circular form, the front and back domed faces finely painted in rich copper-red tones with geometric panels, the centre with a lotus bloom borne on radiating leafy tendrils within a star-shaped panel, surrounded by six indented eight-sided panels enclosing geometric floral sprays, all encircled by six hexagonal panels of stylised flowerheads alternating with similar elongated panels of interlaced lozenges, the outer border with shaped panels enclosing stylised floral sprays forming the corners of a large hexagon, interspersed with pairs of narrow panels of flower scrolls, all divided by double line borders, the narrow sides of the flask decorated with detached floral sprays interrupted by flower heads on the raised bosses, the neck collared by a band of stylised floral sprays, below a garlic-form mouth painted with ruyi-shaped lappets enclosing stylised florets, the foot skirted with pendent trefoil spearheads above a band of small scrolls, the glazed concave centre of the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue, wood stand
17.5 cm, 6 7/8  in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, 9th July 1974, lot 278.
Bluett & Sons, London.
Eskenazi Ltd, London.

Catalogue Note

This superbly potted rare Qianlong copper-red vase is a close copy of an equally rare underglaze-blue moonflask from the Yongle period. In its decoration and composition, it closely follows its prototype, although rendered in a smaller size with the shape of the handles and the foot modified. The Yongle prototype adapted its shape and decoration from metal flasks of the Middle East, with their multi-facetted, six-pointed star patterns related to Islamic decorative motifs. Examples of such Yongle blue and white flasks are extremely rare, and only three have appeared at auction, the most recent being one from the Pilkington collection, sold at these rooms, 6th April 2016, lot 17.

A similar flask from the collection of C.P. Lin was included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition An Anthology of Chinese Ceramics, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1980, cat. no. 118, and again in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art exhibition Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration, London, 1992, cat. no. 171. Another from the Baur collection is illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva, Chinese Ceramics, vol. IV, London, 1974, no. A535. Examples at auction include one sold in these rooms, 1st November 1999, lot 370.

A moonflask of the same design, but with an unusual combination of copper-red emphasised by puce enamel, from the collections of Robert C. Bruce and Sir Harry Garner, is illustrated in Soame Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain, London, 1951, pl. LXXXVI, fig. 1b, and later sold in these rooms, 28th November 1979, lot 223.

Important Chinese Art from the Collection of Sir Quo-Wei Lee

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Hong Kong