A teadust-glazed hexagonal vase, Seal mark and period of Qianlong | 清乾隆 茶葉末釉六方貫耳壺 《大清乾隆年製》款
A teadust-glazed hexagonal vase
Seal mark and period of Qianlong
清乾隆 茶葉末釉六方貫耳壺 《大清乾隆年製》款
sturdily potted after the archaic fanghu form, the hexagonal body supported on a pronounced foot, gently curving at the shoulders to a flared neck, flanked by a pair of tubular loop handles, covered overall in rich mottled olive-green glaze, the base with a six-character seal mark
The vase is in good overall condition.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
The present vase is notable for its lustrous and deep teadust glaze which perfectly complements the angular shape, and is a testament to the technical perfection achieved by craftsmen working at the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen under the Qianlong Emperor as well as his keen interest in antiquity. Its form is a reinterpretation of the archaic bronze hu form which was first developed by craftsmen working at the Guan kilns during the Song dynasty. Further reference to bronzes is made in the rich teadust glaze, inspired by their patina and an innovation of the Yongzheng period. This glaze was achieved through the precipitation of yellow crystal that stands out against the dark green background, producing what is known in Chinese as chayemo or ‘tea-leaf’ dust glaze effect. Successfully fired vases have many stipples that make the glaze appear especially rich and velvety at the touch.
A closely related vase, from the collection of W.W. Winkworth, was sold in our London rooms, 12th December 1972, lot 130, and again in these rooms, 16th May 1977, lot 158; another was sold at Christie’s London, 11th July 2006, lot 141. See also a larger vase in the Idemitsu Museum of Art, Tokyo, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 965; another vase sold in our London rooms, from the collection of the Toguri Museum of Art, Tokyo, 9th June 2004, lot 3, and again in these rooms, 8th April 2010, lot 1822; and a further example from the Manno Art Museum, Osaka, sold twice at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th October 2002, lot 560, and again, 28th November 2005, lot 1317.
Compare also a slightly smaller version, from the Hall family collection, sold in these rooms, 2nd May 2000, lot 556, and included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Iron in the Fire, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1988, front cover and cat. no. 89, and A Selection of Ming and Qing Porcelains, Eskenazi Ltd, London, 2004, cat. no. 14, and illustrated in Giuseppe Eskenazi in collaboration with Hajni Elias, A Dealer's Hand: The Chinese Art World Through the Eyes of Giuseppe Eskenazi, London, 2012; Chinese version, Shanghai, 2015, reprint, 2017, pl. 433.
Perfectly symmetrical and covered in an even glaze, this deceptively simple vase required the utmost attention and skill in every stage of its production, from the purity of the clay and precision of potting to the evenness of the glaze and control of firing. The slightest irregularity would result in the rejection and destruction of the piece, thus pushing the craftsmen to the limits of their abilities, particularly in the production of large vessels such as the present. Furthermore, the hexagonal-section form indicates that this vase would have been created in a mould, which demanded acute precision, as the traditional method of using a potter’s wheel could only result in vessels of circular section.
Qianlong mark and period vases of this form are also known in various monochrome glazes, such as a sky-blue glazed example illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu / Ceramic Art of the World, Tokyo, 1956, vol. 12, pl. 46; and two Ru-type vases, sold in these rooms, the first, 26th October 2003, lot 50, and the second, 9th October 2007, lot 1526. For the prototype of this form see a Yongzheng mark and period guan-type hu of slightly larger size, sold in these rooms, 9th October 2007, lot 1534.
W.W. Winkworth 舊藏一件類近作例，1972年12月12日售於倫敦蘇富比，編號130，1977年5月16日，編號158。倫敦佳士得於2006年7月11日亦售出一件，編號141。東京出光美術館藏有一壺，尺寸較大刊於《出光美術館藏品圖錄：中國陶瓷》，東京，1987年，圖版965。還有一件貫耳六方壺，2010年4月8日於香港蘇富比售出，編號1822。大阪萬野美術館舊藏也有例可資參考，該瓶兩度售於香港佳士得，分別為2002年10月28日，編號560，以及2005年11月28日，編號1317。
參考霍氏家族珍藏一件尺寸稍小作例，2000年5月2日售於香港蘇富比，編號556，曾展於東方陶瓷協會展覽，《Iron in the Fire》，阿什莫林博物館，牛津，1988年，封面、編號89，以及《A Selection of Ming and Qing Porcelains》，埃斯卡納齊，2004年，編號14，又載於朱塞佩．埃斯卡納齊，薛好佩整理，《中國藝術品經眼錄：埃斯卡納齊的回憶》，倫敦，2012年；中譯版，上海，2015年，再版，2017年，圖版433。