of double-gourd form with six vertical lobes elegantly extending from the wide lower bulb to the slender upper bulb tapering to a tubular neck, the two sections divided by a cinched waist with a raised collar, covered overall in a thick and even caesious-coloured glaze with very few crackles, all supported on six brown-dressed spurs encircling the recessed base, the six-character reign mark inscribed in a fanciful seal-script style on the base
This bottle is very unusual in its shape, its glaze colour and its reign mark. The glaze has very few crackles and is more milky and even than the typical Ru- or guan-type glazes, and thicker and more opaque than the clair-de-lune glaze. The mark is written in a fanciful archaistic script, which deviates from the customary Yongzheng seal mark style (particularly the slanting strokes of the yong and zheng characters).
A very similar bottle in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, with the more common style of Yongzheng seal mark was included in the Museum's exhibition Qing Kang Yong Qian ming ci tezhan/Catalog of the Special Exhibition of K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch'ing Dynasty in the National Museum Palace (sic), Taipei, 1986, cat. no. 66 (figs. 0 and 1), where the glaze is called 'sky blue', although that term is otherwise often used for clair-de-lune glazes; another from the Grandidier collection is in the Musée Guimet, Paris, see Oriental Ceramics. The World's Great Collections, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, 1980-82, vol. 7, no. 169. The shape is recorded among Yongzheng shapes in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding [Appraisal of Ming and Qing porcelain], Hong Kong, 1993, p. 231, fig. 393: 7.
Geng illustrates several Yongzheng seal marks, but none of the present type, ibid., p. 342, fig. 568. Yongzheng reign marks are also discussed by Peter Y.K. Lam in the exhibition catalogue Ethereal Elegance. Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing. The Huaihaitang Collection, The Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, pp. 54f., where several zhuanshu examples are illustrated, p. 38, figs. 7.8-7.12, all more formal in style and none as eccentric as the present mark, which may be a rare early example.
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