View full screen - View 1 of Lot 5. A fine and rare clair-de-lune-glazed apple-shaped jar, Mark and period of Kangxi | 清康熙 天藍釉蘋果尊 《大清康熙年製》款.

A fine and rare clair-de-lune-glazed apple-shaped jar, Mark and period of Kangxi | 清康熙 天藍釉蘋果尊 《大清康熙年製》款

Auction Closed

March 21, 02:11 PM GMT


250,000 - 350,000 USD

Lot Details


A fine and rare clair-de-lune-glazed apple-shaped jar

Mark and period of Kangxi

清康熙 天藍釉蘋果尊 《大清康熙年製》款

the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue 

Diameter 4⅛ in., 10.5 cm 

Christie's London, 8th June 1987, lot 280.

J.J. Lally & Co., New York, 1987.



Elegantly potted, the present jar is remarkable for its perfection in form with its generous, rounded sides rising from a concave base to a narrow waisted neck, recessed into the shoulder to form a deep channel around the rim. Equally remarkable is the luminous clair-de-lune glaze that envelops the jar, complementing the rounded form to achieve a balanced harmony. This high-fired lavender-blue glaze, with a cobalt content of about 1%, was first produced by the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen during the Kangxi Emperor's reign (1662-1722). Fittingly termed clair-de-lune ('moon light') in the West by 19th-century French connoisseurs, and as tianlan ('sky blue') in China, it was one of the most ingenious monochrome glazes created in Jingdezhen during the Kangxi reign, reserved exclusively for imperial porcelains. The color remained popular throughout the Qing dynasty, yet the soft and delicate hue of the Kangxi period was never again achieved in later wares. 

Harmonious and sophisticated, the jar epitomizes the Kangxi Emperor's pursuit of quality and technical excellence at the kilns in Jingdezhen. Moreover, the monochrome glaze and its simplicity can also be seen as a nod to ceramics of the Song dynasty, which were praised for their restrained aesthetic refinement. 

Vessels of this form in clair-de-lune glaze are rare. See six closely related examples from the George Dunton Widener Collection, assembled in the 19th and early 20th century, four preserved in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (accession nos 1942.9.481, 1942.9.482, 1942.9.490 and 1942.9.491), and published in Virginia Bower et al., The Collections of the National Gallery of Art. Systematic Catalogue: Decorative Arts, Part II: Persian and Indian Rugs and Carpets, Washington, D.C., 1998, pp 93-5, the other two sold at Christie's New York, 16th September 2011, lots 1581 and 1589. Compare one included in the Min Chiu Society exhibition, Monochrome Ceramics of Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1977, cat. no. 50; another in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji / The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics, Qing, vol. 1, Shanghai, 1999, pl. 114; one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (accession no. 1966.66.206.4), illustrated in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 240; one in the Baur Collection, Geneva, in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva: Chinese Ceramics, vol. III, Geneva, 1972, pl. A.319; and lastly one previously in the Meiyintang Collection, exhibited in Evolution to Perfection, Monte Carlo, 1996, cat. no. 147 and illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4 (II), London, 1994, pl. 1786, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 7th April 2013, lot 1. 



天藍釉蘋果尊甚為罕見。參考六件喬治•鄧頓•威德納舊藏近例,購於十九至二十世紀初,其中四例藏於美國華盛頓國家美術館(藏品編號1942.9.481、1942.9.482、1942.9.490 及 1942.9.491),載於 Virginia Bower 等,《The Collections of the National Gallery of Art. Systematic Catalogue: Decorative Arts, Part II: Persian and Indian Rugs and Carpets》,華盛頓,1998年,頁93-5,另外兩例售於紐約佳士得,2011年9月16日,編號1581及1589。敏求精舍展覽《明清一色釉瓷》亦見一例,香港藝術館,香港,1977年,編號50。另可比對上海博物館藏品,載於《中國陶瓷全集:清(上)》,上海,1999年,圖版114。紐約大都會藝術博物館亦有藏例(藏品編號1966.66.206.4),載於 Suzanne G. Valenstein,《A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics》,紐約,1989年,圖版240。另見日內瓦鮑氏典藏之器,載於 John Ayers,《Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection》,卷2,日內瓦,1999年,圖版178。玫茵堂舊藏一例,曾展於《Evolution to Perfection》,蒙地卡羅,1996年,編號147,載於康蕊君,《玫茵堂中國陶瓷》,卷4 (II),倫敦,1994年,圖版1786,售於香港蘇富比2013年4月7日,編號1。