The Three Emperors: Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns from the Yidetang Collection

The Three Emperors: Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns from the Yidetang Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 24. A blue and white kettle and cover, he, Seal mark and period of Qianlong | 清乾隆 青花番蓮托八吉祥紋四足蓋盉 《大清乾隆年製》款.

A blue and white kettle and cover, he, Seal mark and period of Qianlong | 清乾隆 青花番蓮托八吉祥紋四足蓋盉 《大清乾隆年製》款

Auction Closed

October 12, 11:48 AM GMT


1,000,000 - 1,500,000 HKD

Lot Details


A blue and white kettle and cover, he

Seal mark and period of Qianlong

清乾隆 青花番蓮托八吉祥紋四足蓋盉 《大清乾隆年製》款

modelled in the form of the archaic bronze he prototype, with a compressed globular body supported on four legs and surmounted by a constricted neck and lipped rim, flanked by a handle and a spout, the exterior of the body richly painted in cobalt-blue tones with a row of beribboned bajixiang emblems, each resting atop a lotus bloom wreathed in scrolling foliage, all below a key-fret band, the neck, handle, spout and legs superbly adorned with echoing lingzhi blooms, the cover centred with an arched knop and similarly rendered in dense lingzhi scrolls encircled by a key-fret band, the underside of the vessel with a six-character seal mark

23 cm

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 29th April 1997, lot 621.


This rare piece belongs to a special group of porcelain wares made under the direction of the Qianlong Emperor that combined contemporary elements with forms inspired by archaic bronzes. Its form is modelled after archaic bronze ritual vessels, he, made during the Zhou dynasty, while the motif of lotus and the Eight Treasures (bajixiang) hints at the increasing influence of Buddhism at court. The exceptional talent of the potters is evident not only in the successful transformation of a bronze form into porcelain, but also in their ability to combine decorative elements from different traditions.

Originally inspired by pottery prototypes from the Neolithic period, bronze vessels of this form are believed to have been originally used as wine ewers or pitchers in the Shang and Zhou dynasty. Their function was somewhat revived in the Qing dynasty, as attested by Wang Guowei (1877-1927) in his ‘shuo he’ (On the he) from 1915, where he mentions that at banquets, those that could not tolerate drinking too much wine were offered a weaker version diluted with water poured from a he. Porcelain he appear to have been an 18th century innovation, and according to Palace documents, the first order for these vessels took place in the 3rd year of the Qianlong reign.

Ewers of this unusual form are found in important private and museum collections; one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Museum’s exhibition K’ang-Hsi, Yung-Cheng and Ch’ien-Lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch’ing Dynasty in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1986, cat. no. 71; another in the Tianjin Municipal Museum is illustrated in Tianjin Shi Yishu Bowuguan cang ci [Porcelains from the Tianjin Municipal Museum], Tianjin, 1993, pl. 166; and a third in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen is illustrated in John Ayers, Chinese and Japanese Works of Art, London, 2016, vol. 1, pl. 424, together with a Jiaqing mark and period example, pl. 425. See also one from the collections of Eva Lande and Julius Morgenroth, sold in our New York rooms, 17th March 2009, lot 122; one sold in these rooms, 3rd April 2019, lot 3635; and a slightly smaller example, also lacking the cover, is included in the exhibition Treasures of Imperial Porcelain. Official Kiln Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty Collected by Hangzhou Tu Huo Zhai Museum of Antique Ceramics, Hangzhou, 2011, pl. 100.



此器器型獨特,可比較數例,見於各大私人收藏及博物館,台北故宮現藏一例,曾展於《清康雍乾名瓷》,1986年,編號71。另一例天津市藝術博物館收藏,載於《天津市藝術博物館藏瓷》,天津,1993年,圖版166。再比較一例,英女皇御藏,圖載於約翰.艾爾斯,《Chinese and Japanese Works of Art》,倫敦,2016年,卷1,圖版424,同書並載一例,署有嘉慶年款,圖版425。Eva Lande 及 Julius Morgenroth 收藏一例,售於紐約蘇富比2009年3月17日,編號122。且參考香港蘇富比2019年4月3日拍出之例,編號3635。還有一例,尺寸較小,無蓋,曾展於《御瓷遺珍:杭州土火齋古陶瓷博物館藏清代官窰瓷器》,浙江省博物館,杭州,2011年,編號100。