View full screen - View 1 of Lot 23. A rare gilt-decorated famille-rose vase, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 粉彩描金人物圖瓶.

A rare gilt-decorated famille-rose vase, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period | 清乾隆 粉彩描金人物圖瓶

Auction Closed

March 22, 07:08 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


A rare gilt-decorated famille-rose vase

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period

清乾隆 粉彩描金人物圖瓶

Height 9⅜ in., 23.8 cm

Sotheby's London, 26th May 1964, lot 154. 

Collection of Dr Wou Kiuan (1910-1997). 

Wou Lien-Pai Museum, 1968-present, coll. no. Q.7.13. 




The subject matter, richly detailed architectural elements and European-influenced perspective seen on the present vase reflect the trend for scenic illusion paintings that found favor at the court of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-95). The Italian Jesuit court painter Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) and his students were commissioned to paint dozens of large-scale scenic illusion paintings to adorn the palaces of the Yongzheng and Qianlong Emperors, and related scenes of ladies and children within elegantly appointed interiors can be seen on panels painted for the Yanghe Jingshe and the Yucuixuan at the Forbidden City, both included in the exhibition The Emperor's Private Paradise. Treasures from the Forbidden City, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, cat. nos 44 and 53. 

In its painting style and subject matter, the present vase also relates to a special group of wares that were influenced by European enameled pieces which were imported to the court, often as tribute to the emperor. The style of painting is closely related to 18th century prints and engravings from Europe, particularly in the stippling effects to produce shading and differentiation of depth and form in the figures and background details. 

Variations of the theme of the 'mother and child' painted on porcelain incorporating European-influenced perspective include a small group of falangcai dishes, painted with gilt kuilong and lotus borders, including two in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; the first included in the exhibition Emperor Ch'ien-lung's Grand Cultural Enterprise, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2002, cat. no. V-16; the second illustrated in Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Enamelled Porcelains of the Imperial Ateliers, Taipei, 1992, cat. no. 118. 

A comparable vase of similar form and gilt-scroll work ground is painted with European-subject scenes, copied from an unidentified European engraving, illustrated in François and Nicole Hervouët and Yves Bruneau, La porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes a décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, sold in our London rooms, 3rd November 1987, lot 919.