A large cloisonné enamel tripod censer and cover, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 銅胎掐絲琺瑯纏枝番蓮紋朝冠耳三足大熏爐
A large cloisonné enamel tripod censer and cover
Qing dynasty, Qianlong period
the globular body raised on three cabriole legs issuing from gilt mythical beast masks, rising to a straight neck and everted rim, flanked by two S-shaped rectangular-section handles set to the shoulder, enameled allover with a turquoise ground and colorful lotus blooms, framed by a ruyi band at the shoulder, the neck encircled by a floret border, the legs with further florets and lotus, the handles with kuilong-form square scrolls, the domed cover with a corresponding scrolling lotus motif in cloisonné punctuated by three gilt openwork quatrefoil cartouches enclosing kuilong, the elaborate gilt-metal openwork knop in the form of a lotus bud (2)
Height 26 ½ in., 67.3 cm
In overall good condition, small characteristic flakes and losses to the enamels, some infilled with colored wax. Expected pitting to the surface, wear to gilding. One handle is loose, with losses to the enamels of the surrounding area.
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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.
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Collection of Robert Hoe III (1839-1909).
American Art Association, New York, 18th February 1911, lot 882.
Collection of Samuel P. Avery, Jr. (1847-1920).
Gifted to the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, 1911 (acc. no. 09.933.5).
Robert Hoe III (1839-1909) 收藏
Samuel P. Avery, Jr. (1847-1920) 收藏
'Brooklyn Gets World's Best Set of Cloisonnés', The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2nd April 1911.
John Getz, Catalogue of the Avery Collection of Ancient Chinese Cloisonnés, New York, 1912, pl. 86.
〈Brooklyn Gets World's Best Set of Cloisonnés〉，《布魯克林每日鷹報》，1911年4月2日
John Getz，《Catalogue of the Avery Collection of Ancient Chinese Cloisonnés》，紐約，1912年，圖版86
Blue of Jingtai. The Samuel P. Avery, Jr. Collection of Chinese Cloisonné Enamels, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, 1990-93.
《Blue of Jingtai. The Samuel P. Avery, Jr. Collection of Chinese Cloisonné Enamels》，布魯克林博物館，布魯克林，1990至1993年
This impressive censer represents the apogee of artistic and technical achievement of imperial enamel craftsmanship during the Qianlong reign. Every aspect and execution has been accomplished to the highest standard. The high quality of workmanship is clearly shown by the casting of the mythical mask-form feet, the elaborate pierced knop and the fine details of the cloisonné enamels. The decoration and the choice of colors also reflect the sophistication and confidence among artists to experiment with more unusual designs and color schemes.
The censer is of ding form, based on the shape of archaic ritual vessels of the Shang dynasty. Its cauldron-like shape, standing on three short slightly curved legs, reflects the predilection in the Ming and Qing periods for vessels in the form of archaic bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Although the overall outlines of the archaic models were retained, the imperial craftsmen liberally interpreted original decorative motifs, such as the leiwen-inspired keyfret scroll to the handles, incorporating them with more contemporary lotus scrolls to the body.
As a universal monarch at the center of the world, the Qianlong Emperor lent his support to a variety of religious institutions, including Daoist and Buddhist temples, as well as Manchu shamanic shrines and the buildings and altars that housed the so-called ‘State Religion’, the worship of impersonal Heaven. Altar garnitures typically comprise an incense burner, placed in the center, flanked by two candleholders and gu-shaped vases, all placed on tall stools, as seen in a 20th century picture of the Daxiongbaodian of the Tanzhe Temple near Beijing, illustrated in Helmut Brinker and Albert Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné. The Pierre Uldry Collection, New York, 1989, p. 53, fig. 29.
Compare a similar lotus finial on a very large (91 cm high) square-form censer in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Metal-Bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 149.