Lot 28
  • 28


40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • ceramics + wood box
  • 10.3 cm, 4 in. 
the rounded central section rising from a spreading foot to a wasted neck and everted rim, covered with a pale grey-blue crackled glaze, the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue, Japanese wood box


This vase is striking for its refined body which is covered in a luminous greyish-blue glaze, the beauty of which is heightened in its small size. It not only captures the brilliance of celebrated Ru ware of the Song dynasty (960-1279), but also captures the Yongzheng Emperor’s taste for innovative forms based on archaic bronzes. A great connoisseur of antiquities and with a discerning aesthetic sense for works of art, the Yongzheng Emperor was known to have commissioned finely manufactured wares that were marked with a restrained elegance from the first year of his reign. Under the mastermind of Tang Ying (1682-1756), Superintendent of the Imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, many monochrome wares simulating the elegance of Song glazes on both classic and innovative forms were successfully developed. This vase, with its compressed hexagonal form and delicate potting and glazing, displays the high level of technique of potters working at the Imperial kilns in Jingdezhen. The creation of such monochrome wares required absolute precision in every stage of the production in order to create flawless pieces that revealed a deep understanding of the essence of its Song originals. Only one other vase of this shape and size, also covered with ru-type glaze, is known, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong bowuyuan cang. Qingdai yuyao ciqi. vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 146. For a Song dynasty prototype to the vase, see one from the Qing Court collection and now in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Museum’s exhibition Precious as the Morning Star: 12th-14th Century Celadons in the Qing Court Collection, 2016, cat. no. II-6.