Important Chinese Art

Important Chinese Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 209. A rare Guan-type handled hu-form vase, Seal mark and period of Yongzheng | 清雍正 仿官釉貫耳瓶 《大清雍正年製》款.

Property from a Japanese Private Collection

A rare Guan-type handled hu-form vase, Seal mark and period of Yongzheng | 清雍正 仿官釉貫耳瓶 《大清雍正年製》款

Auction Closed

September 21, 06:54 PM GMT


200,000 - 300,000 USD

Lot Details


A rare Guan-type handled hu-form vase

Seal mark and period of Yongzheng

清雍正 仿官釉貫耳瓶 《大清雍正年製》款

the base with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue, wood stand, Japanese wood box (5)

Height 11⅛ in., 28.4 cm

Japanese Private Collection, acquired in the early 20th century, and thence by descent.


This exquisitely glazed vase is an archetypal example of Yongzheng monochrome porcelain in its gracefulness and refinement of form. An exceptional example of the technical and artistic perfection achieved at the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, its sophisticated shape and pale celadon glaze are deeply rooted in the ceramic tradition of the Song dynasty, encapsulating the Emperor’s penchant for these early wares and his insistence on outstanding quality.

In the Yongzheng period, the production of monochrome glazes vastly expanded and celadon glazes were made in many variations. In 1735, recorded by the brilliant and innovative supervisor of the imperial factory, Tang Ying (1682-1756), several different celadon types were included in the list of porcelains produced by the imperial kilns. Tang Ying studied in detail the finest ceramics of the Song period to understand their workmanship, forms and designs and applied this knowledge to the ceramic production at the kilns. Indeed, exemplified in the present vase, the fine potting, exquisite lightness, gentle and elegant form all contribute to a refined subtlety and harmony that finds its origins in the aesthetic ideals of the Song dynasty. 

For a prototype of this vase, which was originally inspired by the archaic bronze hu, see a Song dynasty Longquan celadon example of the same form, inscribed to the base with an imperial poem by the Qianlong Emperor, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession no. 故瓷014094N000000000), included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain in the National Palace Museum. Lung-ch'uan Ware, Ko Ware and Other Wares, Taipei, 1974, pl. 1.

Compare three Yongzheng marked celadon-glazed fanghu of related shape, all housed in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession nos 中瓷000220N000000000, 中瓷000225N000000000 and 中瓷000226N000000000). Furthermore, see several Yongzheng vases of the same form but with imitations of different imperial glazes from the Song dynasty, including one of guan-type glaze sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, 14th November 1983, lot 135, and again, 29th April 1997, lot 577; another of larger size, previously in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, sold at Christie’s New York, 27th May 2021, lot 3004; one of ge-type glaze in the National Palace Museum, Taipei (accession no. 中瓷000219N000000000), included in the Special Exhibition of 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. 63; one of ru-type glaze sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 23rd October 2005, lot 319, another sold three times, 29th November 1976, lot 525, 21st May 1979, lot 110, and 3rd May 1994, lot 110, one sold in Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th April 2004, lot 946, and lastly, one of larger size sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1980, lot 105, and 8th April 2011, lot 3014.