3607
3607
A FINE FAMILLE-ROSE MILLE-FLEURS TRAY
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
2,400,0003,200,000
LOT SOLD. 3,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3607
A FINE FAMILLE-ROSE MILLE-FLEURS TRAY
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
2,400,0003,200,000
LOT SOLD. 3,500,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A FINE FAMILLE-ROSE MILLE-FLEURS TRAY
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
of oval section, the shallow rounded sides raised on six feet, brilliantly enamelled on the interior in varying tones of pink, green, iron red, blue, yellow and lavender with a rich profusion of flowers centering on a large peony bloom in iron red, amid further blossoms including chrysanthemum, morning glory, rose, hibiscus and aster, all within a gilt rim border, the base enamelled turquoise save for a white square inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue
19.3 cm, 7 5/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

The mille-fleurs pattern – in Chinese wan hua dui, 'ten thousand flowers piled up', or bai hua tu, 'hundred flowers design' – with its joyful evocation of nature's abundance is such a universally appealing motif that it is extremely well known despite being exceedingly rare. This demanding design appears to originate from the imperial enamelling workshops in the Forbidden City in Beijing, where in the Kangxi reign it was tried out on a small copper vessel, a water pot of less than 3 cm height, which is still preserved in the Palace Museum today, and illustrated in The Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum, Enamels, vol. 5: Painted Enamels in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beijing, 2011, pl. 32. By the Yongzheng period, the design began to be reproduced on porcelain, and its popularity continued to grow through to the 19th century. With its multitude of enamel colours, its complex densely interwoven layout, naturalistic representation of blooms and leaves with sophisticated shading and an astonishing attention to detail, this design must have been one of the most challenging for the imperial porcelain painters to master.

Qianlong mark and period trays of this oval form and painted with this sumptuous design are rare. Compare a Qianlong mark and period circular dish with this design, illustrated in Taji Shuichi, Shindai no Jiki [Porcelain of the Qing dynasty], Tokyo, 1983, col. pl. 39. See also a dish with scattered flowers and with a Yanghe tang zhi (Made for the Hall of Cultivation) hallmark in blue enamel, in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Zhongguo taoci qunaji [Complete collection of Chinese ceramics], vol. 21, Shanghai, 1981, pl. 119; a pair sold in these rooms, 25th April 2004, lot 232, and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th May 2012, lot 3993; a dish sold in these rooms, 27th October 1992, lot 143; and a further dish sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th September 1992, lot 597.

This sophisticated motif is also found painted on various types of objects, such as a Qianlong mark and period vase and a teapot illustrated in Alexandre Hougron, La Céramique Chinoise Ancienne, Paris, 2015, pp. 260 and 261, the first from the collection of Ernest Grandidier, now in the Musée Guimet, Paris, and the second in the Musée de l'Imperatrice Eugénie, Château de Fontainbleau; a globular vase illustrated in Fujio Koyama, Tōki zenshu [Complete series on ceramics], vol. 16, Tokyo, 1958, pl. 49; a gu-shaped example, in the Liaoning Provincial Museum, illustrated in Liaoning sheng bowuguan [Liaoning provincial museum], Beijing, 1983, col. pl. 181; a censer sold in our New York rooms, 18th/19th March 2014, lot 480; and a pair of cups from the Dreyfus collection, included in the exhibition Ausstellung Chinesischer Kunst, Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, 1929, cat. no. 1042, and sold in our London rooms, 11th December 1973, lot 432.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong