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Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau Part II
劉鑾雄藏御瓷萃珍:第二部分
Live Auction: 9 October 2022 • 10:15 AM HKT • Hong Kong | 拍賣:2022年10月9日 • 上午 10:15 HKT • 香港

Gems of Imperial Porcelain from the Private Collection of Joseph Lau Part II 9 October 2022 • 10:15 AM HKT • Hong Kong

T he name Joseph Lau resonates with collectors around the globe and it is one that stands for excellence. Chinese art stands at the genesis of Joseph Lau’s adventure with art and it is on Chinese art that he cut his exacting eye before expanding his horizons. At the age of 27, Lau walked for the first time into a Sotheby’s preview in 1978, just before a time many consider to be the first golden age of Sotheby’s Hong Kong when the celebrated collections of J.M. Hu, T.Y. Chao, Paul and Helen Bernat and the British Rail Pension Fund came to market. During the following ten years, Lau assembled one of the finest collections of Chinese porcelain ever, articulated around masterpieces, each representative of the best of a certain period and type, and handpicked from the most prestigious collections.

This season’s offerings include two very fine blue and white porcelains dating from the Yongle period in the early 15th century, the pinnacle of underglaze-blue decorated wares and a period much celebrated for imperial patronage in the arts. The first one is a meiping decorated with a lotus scroll, which is remarkably elegant in its potting and represents the epitome of that classic shape. Similar examples are known in the palace museums in Beijing and Taipei as well as in the Middle Eastern Royal collections of the Ottoman sultans which attest to their universal appeal and high status. The second piece, a type similarly popular at the Chinese and foreign courts, belongs to a group of vessels which were inspired by Persian metalwork prototypes. Moonflasks of this type are typically decorated with star-shaped rosettes derived from an amalgamation of archaism and Middle Eastern design. The present example is superior in all aspects, from the quality of the painting, richness of the cobalt, clarity of the glaze to its pristine condition.

Moonflasks continued to be popular at the court of the Qing emperors and the magnificent circular flask brilliantly enamelled with fruit represents a particularly ambitious and unusual combination of the doucai and fencai schemes, which brings out the ripe fruit. The particular combination of three fruit has become the classic san duo (‘Three Plenties’) - duo fu, duo shou, duo nanzi (‘plenty of happiness, plenty of long life and plenty of sons’) – and this moonflask would have for many years brought blessings to the Qianlong emperor. Few similar examples survive except for one formerly in the collection of the British Rail Pension Fund.

The very private collection of Chinese art of Joseph Lau occupies pride of place among the very finest ever assembled in the field and will delight connoisseurs of Chinese porcelains. This selection of beautiful pieces is an opportunity for the most discerning collectors to acquire a piece from his celebrated collection.

Nicolas Chow
Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia

Sale Highlights

劉鑾雄之名,在環宇收藏界中堪稱出類拔萃的標誌,常喚起關注與認同。早在探索旅程之初,劉氏已與中國藝術結緣,並在藏翫賞鑑過程中,鍛鍊得銳目利眼,成就後來拓展新域,廣納百川。1978年,劉氏年方二十七,首次踏足蘇富比預展。不久以後,胡惠春、趙從衍、伯納德伉儷及英國鐵路基金會等重要舊藏相繼釋出,精品復現市場,是以不少人指此乃香港蘇富比的首段黃金歲月。爾後十載,劉氏從顯赫舊藏中嚴選珍瓷,所蓄器物,無不超卓,堪稱朝代品類之冠。

今季獻呈永樂青花雅瓷二器,展現十五世紀御窰在宮廷督造下的爐火純青。纏枝蓮紋梅瓶,採經典器形,精益求精,線條輪廓雅致絕倫。青花纏枝蓮紋梅瓶廣受青睞,除兩岸故宮外,中東皇室亦有蒐存,如奧斯曼蘇丹舊藏。另一件是永樂青花扁瓶,同為中外皇室所珍。此類扁瓶,巧思源啟波斯金屬器,多以寶相輪花為飾,既涵古韻,並溢中東風情。此瓶繪飾細膩,發色濃艷,釉料晶瑩,品相尤佳,誠卓絕之品。

扁瓶之式雅正大方,清廷續燒。專場中之清乾隆三多雙龍耳扁瓶,結合鬪彩與粉彩,展現御窰的果敢創新,妙畫三多,寓意多福、多壽、多子,長年為乾隆帝添祥瑞。現知僅有英國鐵路基金會舊藏一瓶傳世,但此外類例無尋,足見其罕。

劉鑾雄雅存中國珍瓷,卓爾不凡,傲視同儕,鑑藏者之樂也。現呈美器選萃,誠難得良機,讓慧眼之士,同享藏鑑之趣。

仇國仕

蘇富比亞洲區主席

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