A RARE YELLOW-GROUND UNDERGLAZE-BLUE 'LOTUS' ARCHAISTIC VASE, QIANLONG SEAL MARK AND PERIOD | 清乾隆 黃地青花纏枝蓮紋出戟雙耳瓶 《大清乾隆年製》款
Estimate: 150,000 - 250,000 GBP
A RARE YELLOW-GROUND UNDERGLAZE-BLUE 'LOTUS' ARCHAISTIC VASE
QIANLONG SEAL MARK AND PERIOD
清乾隆 黃地青花纏枝蓮紋出戟雙耳瓶 《大清乾隆年製》款
of archaistic bronze form, skilfully potted with a baluster body rising from a splayed foot to a waisted neck and flared rim, flanked by a pair of large scroll handles, further adorned with raised bands and flanges to the neck and foot, the body painted in vibrant tones of cobalt blue with meandering leafy scrolls bearing large stylised lotus blooms, between a band of pendant ruyi motifs and upright lappet, the shoulder painted with a narrow band of stylised scrolls bearing pomegranates, all against a bright yellow ground, the white base centred with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue
Height 32.3 cm, 12¾ in,
There is a very thin hairline (ca. 0.7 cm) to the rim, and a three-prong crack (ca. 10.2 cm) to the side below the handle, visible on the inside of the vase. Apart from some very light wear to the surface.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Yamanaka & Company, Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art, (in liquidation under the supervision of the Alien Property Custodian of the United States of America), New York, 1943, cat. no. 1188.
山中商會，《Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art》(in liquidation under the supervision of the Alien Property Custodian of the United States of America)，紐約，1943年，編號1188
Vibrantly painted with a lotus scroll in vivid underglaze-blue against a striking yellow ground, this vase celebrates tradition through both its form and design and pays testament to the Qianlong Emperor’s keen interest in antiquity. Its form and raised flanges echo China’s glorious Bronze Age, while its floral scroll and choice of palette are rooted in imperial porcelain of the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644). By combining harmoniously design elements from different traditions and fusing them with a brilliant yellow enamel, the craftsmen of this piece has created a visually striking and contemporary vase with direct imperial association.
Vases of this form and painted with a lotus scroll against a yellow ground are very rare an no other closely related example appears to have been published, although a very similar blue and white version from the Huaihaitang collection, included in the exhibition Ethereal Elegance. Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing, Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2008, pl. 102, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 26th October 2003, lot 143.
Vases of this form are more commonly known covered in monochrome glazes, such as a clair-de-lune glazed vase, but with the handles modelled as lingzhi, in the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in Gakuji Hasabe, Chūgoku no tōji [Chinese ceramics], vol. 11, Tokyo, 1996, pl. 79, together with a tea dust-glazed version, in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, pl. 80; and a vase covered overall in a flambé glaze, sold in our new York rooms, 4th June 1987, lot 137. See also a Qianlong mark and period bronze simulation vase lacking the raised flanges, from the Meiyintang collection, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pl. 953, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 19.
Modelled after a contemporary bronze prototype, which would in turn have been inspired by archaic bronze lei of the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1050-771 BC), vases of this form were first made in porcelain in the Yongzheng reign (r. 1723-1735). See for example a Yongzheng mark and period claire-de-lune vase, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Qingdai yuyao ciqi [Qing imperial porcelain], vol. 1, pt. II, Beijing, 2005, pl. 116; and a flambé-glazed example, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29th April 2002, lot 654, and again in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th October 2006, lot 1006.