A RARE PAIR OF IRON-RED HOLY WATER VASES QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD | 清乾隆 礬紅彩折枝蓮花甘露瓶一對
A RARE PAIR OF IRON-RED HOLY WATER VASES
QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG PERIOD
each with an ovoid body rising from a stepped domed base and elegantly sweeping up to a tall cylindrical neck with an everted collar, brightly painted with stylised lotus sprays between stylised lappets and plantain leaves, the neck encircled by bands of keyfret, scattered florets, lappet and ruyi bands, all above a further lappet band skirting the foot
21.3 and 22 cm, 8⅜ and 8⅝ in.
In good overall condition with very faint glaze lines to the body of one vase. General surface wear including minor surface scratches and minor wear to the enamel.
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.
A vase of this pattern can be seen in a painting by Giuseppe Castiglione, in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, showing the Qianlong Emperor seated under a pine tree in a landscape, with a table to his right set with several treasures from his collection in porcelain and other materials. The painting was included in the Exhibition Palast-museum Peking Schätze aus der Verbotenen Stadt, Berlin, 1985, Catalogue, no. 41, pl. 24.
These holy water vases may have been produced as offerings for the altar of a Tibetan Buddhist shrine in the Forbidden City. While imperial porcelains are usually inscribed with marks of the reigning emperors, exceptions are not uncommon, especially for items used in Buddhist ceremonies. A court record that the Qianlong Emperor decreed marks not to be used on some holy water bottles with iron-red designs made in the 11th year of his reign (1746) is listed in Feng Xianming, Annotated Collection of Historical Documents on Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Taipei, 2000, p. 241, for such a bottle from the Qing court collection see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Miscellaneous Enameled Porcelains Plain Tricoloured Porcelains, Shanghai, 2009, pl. 29. For another example presented to Cheltenham College, England, by Yuan Shikai in 1914, and now in the Weishaupt Collection, see G. Avitabile, From the Dragon’s Treasure, London, 1987, pl. 176. Compare also a pair of similar holy water bottles sold at Christie’s London, 11 May 2010, lot 248.
甘露瓶為清代宮廷賜給西藏僧侶的佛前供器。據許之衡《飲流齋說瓷》記載，此瓶惟乾隆有之，嘉慶、道光數代因藏僧罕來，故不複製此式瓶。台北故宮博物院藏郎世寧所繪「弘曆觀畫圖」中就繪有此類甘露瓶，此瓶的重要性，可見一斑，該畫曾展於《Palast-museum Peking Schätze aus der Verbotenen Stadt》，柏林，1985年，編號24。
北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件類同作例，無識款，載於《故宮博物藏文物珍品全集．顏色釉》，香港，1999年，圖版29。另一例為袁世凱1914年贈予英國齊頓漢姆公學，現藏於Weishaupt Collection，載於《From the Dragon's Treasure. Chinese Porcelain from the 19th and 20th Centuries in the Weishaupt Collection》，倫敦，1987年，頁28，圖版176。再參考一例售於倫敦佳士得2010年5月11日，編號248。