A PEACHBLOOM-GLAZED 'BEEHIVE' WATERPOT
KANGXI MARK AND PERIOD
清康熙 豇豆紅釉團龍紋太白尊 《大清康熙年製》款
of classic domed taibai zun form, the tapering sides rising to a rounded shoulder and a short waisted neck below a lipped mouth-rim, the sides delicately incised with three stylized archaistic dragon roundels, the exterior applied with a vivid crimson-red glaze transmuting to a beige-pink mottled with raspberry-tinged flecks imitating the skin of a ripening peach, the neck with a green-flecked, mushroom-beige concentration, the countersunk base inscribed with an underglaze-blue six-character mark in three columns
Diameter 5 in., 12.7 cm
There's a fine hairline to the neck apprx. 1.6 cm long, and a couple of faint glaze lines nearby.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
For more information on and additional videos for this lot, please contact Cindy.Qi@sothebys.com.
'Peachbloom’ waterpots of this characteristic form are known as taibai zun, after the Tang dynasty (618-907) poet Li Taibai (701-762). A notorious drinker, he is often depicted leaning against a wine jar of this form, as seen in a porcelain sculpture of the same period, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 106, pl. 89. While this form is commonly described as a waterpot, its intended use is difficult to identify, as noted by Regina Krahl in ‘Peachbloom’, Chinese Porcelain from the 15th to the 18th Century, Eskenazi, London, 2006, p. 10. It is imagined that vessels of this type were filled with water to allow a painter to dip their brush and then shape it on the neck. However, Chinese painters typically dip their brush directly into the ink, previously prepared by grinding an ink cake with a few drops of water.
Similar waterpots include one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated op. cit., p. 142, pl. 125; another in the Shanghai Museum, published in Wang Qingzheng, ed., Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 206; a third from the Sir Percival David Collection and now in the British Museum, London, included in Illustrated Catalogue of Ming and Qing Monochrome Wares, London, 1989, no. 580 and on the cover; and a further example from the collections of Edward T. Chow and the British Rail Pension Fund, sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 66, and again 16th May 1989, lot 61.
太白尊名之由來與詩仙李白有關。李白，字太白，嗜酒，其形象多見刻劃為身倚形如本器之酒壇。參考一同時期瓷像，北京故宮博物院收藏，圖載於《故宮珍藏康雍乾瓷器圖錄》，香港，1989年，頁106，圖版89。目前普遍認爲太白尊為水盂，但其確實用途尚未可知，參考康蕊君，《Chinese Porcelain from the 15th to the 18th Century》，埃斯卡納齊，倫敦， 2006年，頁10。原先以為此類器作盛水之用，以沾溼毛筆且於頸部塑形。然而實際上用者通常會先研墨，再直接將毛筆蘸墨。
北京故宮博物院收藏一相類例，前述出處，頁142，圖版125；上海博物館亦收藏一例，載於汪慶正等編，《上海博物館藏康熙瓷圖錄 》，香港，1998年，圖版206；例三出自大維德爵士故藏，現存於倫敦大英博物館，曾展於《Illustrated Catalogue of Ming and Qing Monochrome Wares》，倫敦，1989年，編號580及圖錄封面，另一例出自仇焱之及英國鐵路養老基金會收藏，兩度售於香港蘇富比，先後為1980年11月25日，編號66及1989年5月16日，編號61。