A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE CORAL-RED GROUND FAMILLE-ROSE ALTAR VASE SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG | 清乾隆 粉彩珊瑚紅地番蓮八吉祥紋賁巴壺 《大清乾隆年製》款
PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE CORAL-RED GROUND FAMILLE-ROSE ALTAR VASE
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
清乾隆 粉彩珊瑚紅地番蓮八吉祥紋賁巴壺 《大清乾隆年製》款
25.4 cm, 10 in.
The vase is good condition with just expected light rubbing to the gilding.
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.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 4th/5th November 1997, lot 1567.
Richly decorated with the bajixiang on a luxurious ruby-ground, the current vase belongs to a group of vessels produced during the Qianlong period in imitation of Tibetan metalwork, for use either in the Lamaist temples in Beijing or as imperial gifts to visiting Tibetan lamas. These porcelain vessels are derived from the metal-bodied Tibetan altar vases, such as the jewelled silver benja pot made for use in one of the Buddhist chapels in the Forbidden City, illustrated in Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Qing Palace, Beijing, 1992, pl. 146 (partly concealed by its pleated silk wrapping).
A devout follower and patron of Tibetan Buddhism, the Qianlong Emperor commissioned the construction of numerous halls and shrines dedicated to the recitation of Buddhist scriptures, including the Baoxiang Lou (Hall of Precious Forms), which was built around 1771 for his mother, Empress Xiaosheng. These halls were lavishly furnished with Buddhist sculptures and vessels, including porcelain vases like the present one.
The current vase is extremely rare and appears to be the only recorded coral-ground example of the period. Qianlong mark and period vases of this form are more commonly found decorated with other coloured grounds, including two yellow-ground examples, the first published in Julian Thompson, The Alan Chuang Collection of Chinese Porcelain, Hong Kong, 2009, pl. 112, and the second illustrated in Lu Minghua, Qingdai Yongzheng-Xuantong guanyao ciqi [Qing dynasty official wares from the Yongzheng to the Xuantong reigns], Shanghai, 2014, pl. 3-154. Compare also a pink-ground example from the Fonthill Heirlooms, illustrated in Hugh Moss, By Imperial Command. An Introduction to Chinese Imperial Painted Enamels, Hong Kong, 1976, pl. 84, sold in these rooms, 20th May 1981, lot 871.