3645
3645
A RARE CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE, GU
MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
700,000900,000
JUMP TO LOT
3645
A RARE CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE, GU
MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Estimate
700,000900,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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Hong Kong

A RARE CLOISONNE ENAMEL ARCHAISTIC VASE, GU
MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
the central bulbous section rising from a splayed foot to a tall trumpet neck, each section divided into four sections by vertical flanges incised with key fret, brightly decorated against a turquoise ground, the central section with stylised floral sprays below archaistic zoomorphic scrolls, the long neck with upright plantain lappets below stylised foliate scrolls, all divided by bands of foliate strapwork, key fret, lappets, foliate and classic scrolls against white, dark blue and red grounds, the rim and feet gilt, incised to the base with a four-character reign mark within a double square
26.5 cm, 10 1/2  in.
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Provenance

Sotheby's London, 11th December 2003, lot 175.
Marchant, London, 2005.
A European private collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2013, lot 2052.

Catalogue Note

Superbly enamelled with a rich design on a stylised interpretation of an archaic bronze gu vessel, this vase embodies the various sources of inspiration available to the craftsmen in order to satisfy the Qianlong Emperor’s taste for the exotic and reverence for the past. Craftsmen working in all media, from jade and porcelain to metal and wood, were encouraged to study archaic vessels and use these as the basis for shapes and designs. Every aspect of the design has been carefully planned and executed to the highest standard, as evident in the skilful application of different coloured enamels.

The luminous and luxurious nature of cloisonné enamel was particularly suited to the personal taste of the Qianlong Emperor, who commissioned an increasing number of cloisonné furnishings for the Palace, as well as objects for display and for the scholar’s desk. As a result, in order to meet the Emperor’s demands, on the sixth year of his reign, corresponding to 1741, the Enamel Workshop was significantly expanded and allocated a further six locations. Wares of such fine workmanship as the present were either created in one of the Enamel Workshops within the Zaobanchu (Imperial Palace Workshop), located within the Forbidden City in Beijing, or were a tributary item made for the emperor in one of the important workshops located in Guangzhou. Most craftsmen working in this medium in the Palace Workshop were recruited from Guangzhou where there was an established tradition of cloisonné enamel production.

The current vase is extremely rare, and no other closely related example is known in any private or museum collection. However, for the more commonly found gu-form vases, which have pronounced flaring rims and flanges, see three examples from the Qing court collection, preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Enamels, vol. 2: Cloisonne in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beijing, 2011, pls 130-132. 

Important Chinese Art

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Hong Kong