A RARE FLAMBÉ-GLAZED GARLIC-MOUTH VASE SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG | 清乾隆 窰變釉蒜頭瓶 《大清乾隆年製》款
600,000 - 800,000 HKD
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION 亞洲重要私人收藏
600,000 - 800,000 HKD
Property from an Important Asian Private Collection
A RARE FLAMBÉ-GLAZED GARLIC-MOUTH VASE
SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
the pear-shaped body rising from a splayed foot to a slender neck surmounted by a garlic-head mouth and thin lip, covered overall save for the footring with a rich and lustrous raspberry-red glaze with milky-lavender streaks drizzling down from the cream-coloured rim, the base with a mottled mushroom-brown wash
25.6 cm, 10 ⅛ in.
The vase is in good overall condition. There is expected minor pitting to the thick crackled glaze and minor flakes along the foot.
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.
Christie's London, 16th November 1999, lot 233.
Elegantly shaped with smoothly sloping shoulders and elongated neck, suantouping or ‘garlic-mouth’ vases are among the most interesting vessel shapes of Chinese porcelain. The form, featuring a distinctive bulbous mouth in the shape of a garlic fruit, was popular in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Generally, imperial porcelain vases during the Qing period were manufactured for decorative purposes or as flower vases. Suantouping, with their typical narrow mouth, would be suited to hold one flower or a single fruiting branch, which would match one of those depicted on the vase. The origin of the ‘garlic-mouth’ as a decorative element, is uncertain, but the vessel itself is modelled after an archaic bronze wine vessel named hu with a mouth distinctively formed of garlic cloves, see Jenny So, Eastern Zhou Ritual Bronzes from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 1995, no. 52, where the hu is attributed to the late Eastern Zhou, late Warring States period, 4th-3rd century BC. The bronze hu equally features a slightly flaring ring foot, but a shorter, rounder body and a longer neck. In its shape, the suantouping of the Ming period tends to be closer to the bronze prototype than the Qing variant, which is much more elegantly shaped and better adapted to Qing court taste.
It is extremely rare to find a Qianlong garlic-mouth vase with a flambe glaze. The form is more commonly found with a Ru-type glaze, such as an example from the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 215, and one sold in these rooms, 8th October 2008, lot 2512.