3601
3601

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTOR

A FINE AND VERY RARE WUCAI 'ORCHID' MONTH CUP
MARK AND PERIOD OF KANGXI
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 2,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3601

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTOR

A FINE AND VERY RARE WUCAI 'ORCHID' MONTH CUP
MARK AND PERIOD OF KANGXI
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 2,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A FINE AND VERY RARE WUCAI 'ORCHID' MONTH CUP
MARK AND PERIOD OF KANGXI
delicately potted of deep 'U'-shape with a flared rim and a short straight foot, painted on one side in the wucai palette in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels with a bed of densely growing yellowish-green orchids with a cluster of rocks in front and some bare prickly branches between, the leaves well shaded in different tones of green, representing the seventh month, the reverse inscribed with a poem relating to the flowers in front, followed by the seal shang ('to appreciate'), the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark within a double circle
6.4 cm, 2 1/2  in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 4th November 1997, lot 1434.

Catalogue Note

Month cups depicting seasonal flowers accompanied by pertinent two-line poems, represent a classic design of the Kangxi period. Very delicately potted, they are painted in the proper wucai palette of underglaze blue and overglaze enamels, which was devised in the Ming dynasty, but rarely used in the Qing, when the underglaze colour was generally omitted. On these month cups the designs are generally sketched on the unglazed porcelain in a faint underglaze blue.

Slight differences in size, colours, writing styles and marks between individual cups and different months suggest that even these cups may not have been produced as sets of twelve, but perhaps issued consecutively, as the year evolved, to be assembled at the end. 

Complete sets of month cups are extremely rare. A full set of month cups in the Palace Museum, Bejing, is illustrated in Kangxi. Yongzheng. Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 65, pl. 48; another set from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, is published in the Illustrated Catalogue of Qing Enamelled Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, rev. ed., London, 1991, pl. 815; another in the Idemitsu Museum of Art, Tokyo, is included in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 221; a further set from the Meiyintang Collection, is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 4, nos 1728-39; and a set of blue and white cups was recently sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th November 2018, lot 2908.

______________________________

The poem on the present cup can be translated as follows:
       The delicate fragrance pervades the spacious hall.
       Like music from lofty terraces far away.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong