The form of this vase required considerable expertise from the potter and is an adaptation of the Han ritual bronze vessel, hu. During the Han dynasty (206BC-AD220) vessels were produced in highly prized material such as bronze and were intended for use during ancestor worship rituals. This reference to archaic forms would also have been much appreciated by the emperor who was a great connoisseur and a keen collector of archaic pieces.
Further reference to China's celebrated past is seen in the intricately painted floral scrolls which were inspired by 15th century Ming dynasty blue and white porcelain. Painted in a brilliant deep blue glaze which reflects the high level of technical achievement by Qing craftsmen, Qing painters employed the 'heaping and piling' technique in the intention to simulate the stippled effect of the cobalt glaze typically found on early Ming pieces.
A closely related Qianlong vase sold in these rooms, 16th May 1977, lot 90, now in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, was included the Museum's exhibition The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1984, cat. no. 63. Compare also a vase from the collection of Sir Ralph Harwood, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., at one time Financial Secretary to King George V and Controller of the Royal Household, and believed to have been presented to him by Queen Mary, out of the Royal collections at Windsor Castle, sold in our London rooms, 7th June 1994, lot 358. Another vase of this type was sold in these rooms, 8th April 2009, lot 1604.
Large vases of this type, but with a long cylindrical neck and no foot that derived from Xuande arrow vases, were produced during the Yongzheng reign. This Yongzheng form appears to have been copied by potters early in the Qianlong period before developing into a new form as exemplified by the present piece. Compare a Yongzheng vase similarly decorated with flower scrolls in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Qingdai yuyao ciqi, vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 178; and a rare Qianlong vase of related form but decorated with lotus flowers, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27th May 2008, lot 1579. For a Ming blue and white prototype, see a vase from the Qing court collection and still in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Geng Baochang ed., Gugong Bowuyuan cang. Ming chu qinghua ci [Early Ming blue and white porcelain in the Palace Museum], Beijing, 2002, vol. 1, pl. 82.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale