3642
3642
A MAGNIFICENT LARGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL 'LOTUS' VASE
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
700,000900,000
JUMP TO LOT
3642
A MAGNIFICENT LARGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL 'LOTUS' VASE
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
Estimate
700,000900,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong

A MAGNIFICENT LARGE CLOISONNE ENAMEL 'LOTUS' VASE
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
the baluster body rising from a splayed foot to a waisted neck, flanked by a pair of loop handles issuing from gilt-bronze archaistic dragon masks suspending loose rings, the body bright decorated against a turquoise ground with large lotus blooms amongst interlocking foliate strapwork, below pendent ruyi-shaped lappets enclosing flying bats, the neck similarly decorated with lotus scrolls below stylised ruyi lappets, all divided by a band of kui dragon scrolls encircling the shoulder, above pendent ruyi lappets and foliate motifs along the foot, the rim and foot gilt and incised with keyfret
41.3 cm, 16 1/4  in.
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Provenance

Christie's London, 15th May 2007, lot 163.
A European private collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2013, lot 2071.

Catalogue Note

The archaistic form and stylised chilong on this superbly enamelled vase encapsulates the Qianlong Emperor's reverence for antiquity. The enamelled decoration is rich and vivid; the striking decoration of a pair of handles issuing from taotie masks is particularly powerful and of high quality. Vases of this shape have their roots in archaic ritual bronze hu vessels. However, the Qing craftsmen added their own design elements and made liberal changes to the prototype, thus creating pieces that were contemporary and unique.  

The Qianlong Emperor was an avid collector of objects that were modelled after relics from antiquity, so pieces such as this vase would have satisfied his idiosyncratic taste for the old and new. The return to archaistic designs highlights the Qing emperors' desire to be aligned with the past and thus reaffirm their legitimacy to the Chinese throne. The form is based on the archaic bronze hu ritual vessel, a form that was revived in ceramic wares during the Song period. While the overall symmetrical composition and floral blooms are rendered in the typical Ming style, but the depiction of leaves and ‘C’ scrolls on the present vase is more closely related to European Baroque foliate scrolls that gained popularity in the Qing court.

Compare Qianlong vases of this type, but with varying handles, such as a larger pair said to have been made as part of a set of tableware used by the Qianlong Emperor for formal banquets, illustrated in Chuimei Ho and Bennet Bronson, Splendors of China’s Forbidden City. The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, London, 2004, pl. 244. Compare also a Qianlong period cloisonné enamel vase decorated with lotus flowers, from the Qing court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 96.

Important Chinese Art

|
Hong Kong