A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases Qianlong seal marks and of the period (2)
Lot 30
A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases
Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Sold for HK$ 15,700,000 (US$ 2,010,470) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases Qianlong seal marks and of the period (2) A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases Qianlong seal marks and of the period (2) A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases Qianlong seal marks and of the period (2)
A very rare pair of Imperial white-glazed relief-carved bottle vases
Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Each compressed globular body rising from a short spreading foot to a tall waisted neck surmounted by a flaring rim, flanked by a pair of ruyi-shaped handles, the body superbly and vividly carved in crisp relief with radiating lotus blossoms borne on an undulating and meandering foliate scroll issuing smaller floral blooms, enclosed within two bands of interlocking ruyi-heads, the neck decorated with a register of bats in flight suspending an auspicious emblem, between a ruyi-head band below the rim and upright stiff leaves collaring the neck, all above a border of ruyi-shaped leaf lappets, covered overall with a smooth white glaze. 33.7cm (13 1/4in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 白釉雕纏枝蓮紋如意耳瓶一對 陰刻「大清乾隆年製」篆書款

    Provenance:
    An English private collection, and thence by descent

    來源:
    英國私人收藏,後由家族繼承

    The present pair of vases is very rare and no identical example appears to have been published. They belong to a small group of wares produced during the Qianlong reign referred to as fang Ding yao, or 'in imitation of Ding ware' produced during the Song dynasty. The aesthetic reference to the Ding wares is a personal reflection of the Qianlong Emperor's personal affinity to antiquity and his admiration and desire to learn and be inspired by the forms and glazes first introduced during the Song dynasty. Compare a white-glazed baluster shaped vase carved with a lotus scroll, Qianlong seal mark and period, described as imitating Ding, in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, no.239; see also two vases in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the first a related white-glazed vase with moulded decoration, Qianlong seal mark and period, museum no.CIRC.112-1935 (which the museum acquired with the assistance of Sir Percival David); and another white-glazed relief-decorated vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, with stag handles and dragons and lingzhi decoration, museum no.C.553-1910.

    In form, the pair of vases incorporates rounded stepped shoulders, which are a distinct Qianlong reign innovation; see for example a famille rose vase with similar stepped domed shoulders, Qianlong seal mark and period, in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Shanghai, 2009, no.122; and see also a similarly shaped turquoise-ground ' famille rose bajixiang' vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7 October 2010, lot 2132.

    The carved design on the pair of vases is precise and crisp and beautifully spaced around the surface of the vases, demonstrating the technical virtuosity achieved by the master potters during the Qianlong reign. The necks are decorated with bats suspending a wan emblem, wanfu, meaning 'ten thousand blessings'; the ruyi-shaped handles and lappet border represent bestowing good wishes; and the lotus scroll, in addition to being one of the Eight Buddhist Emblems, also represents purity, longevity and nobility as well as peace when combined with a vase. These auspicious blessings would have made the present pair of vases particularly suitable for an Imperial birthday celebration; compare a related larger celadon-glazed relief-carved vase, with ruyi handles and lotus scroll design, Qianlong seal mark and period, illustrated in Qing Imperial Monochromes: The Zande Lou Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, p.120, pl.43.

    A smaller related relief-carved white-glazed 'dragon' bottle vase, incised Qianlong seal mark and period, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 3 October 2017, lot 3603; see also a smaller related white-glazed relief-carved vase, incised Qianlong seal mark and period, which was sold at Sotheby's London, 7 November 2012, lot 110; and a related smaller relief-decorated white-glazed baluster vase, incised Qianlong seal mark and period, which was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2012, lot 2129.

    撇口,長頸,頸部兩側塑如意形雙耳,台肩,鼓腹,圈足微撇。通體施白釉,釉面潔白瑩潤。頸部分別雕如意雲頭、蝙蝠、勾蓮,蕉葉紋,腹部雕纏枝蓮花,肩部及近足處分別雕如意鎖紋一周,環環相扣,足圈雕蕉葉紋,底部刻「大清乾隆年製」篆書款。

    此對白釉雕花瓶極為難得,完全相同之例目前尚未見著錄。此式白釉雕花瓶,屬乾隆早期唐英督陶時仿宋代五代名窯之定窯而燒造的產品。自雍正以來,仿宋代五大名窯單色釉之風尚有增無減,至乾隆一朝,受乾隆帝好古敏求之影響,對單色釉的燒造要求更加嚴格,技術亦更加成熟。北京故宮博物院清宮舊藏一件清乾隆仿定窯白釉凸花瓶亦是此時期作品之一,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:顏色釉》,香港,1999年,編號239;英國維多利亞及阿爾伯特博物館同樣藏一件清乾隆白釉雙耳瓶(館藏編號CIRC.112-1935),以及一件清乾隆白釉雕靈芝雙鹿耳尊(館藏編號C.553-1910),可資參考。

    此式長頸及台肩式的賞瓶自乾隆一朝開始出現,以不同釉彩裝飾之同式者,見北京故宮博物院藏一件清乾隆粉彩綠地勾蓮紋仕女圖瓶,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:琺瑯彩·粉彩》,上海,2009年,編號122;另見香港蘇富比曾售出一件粉彩綠松地八吉祥瓶,2010年10月7日,拍品編號2132。

    在器物表面通體刻花,亦是乾隆時期普遍運用的裝飾手法,尤以此類薄刻最為精工。此對瓶紋飾佈局嚴謹,疏密有致,華麗而不浮艷。其頸部刻靈芝、蝙蝠及萬字紋,並配以如意耳及腹部蓮花圖案,均為清宮祝壽或祭奠中常見的吉祥符號。對比暫得樓藏一件清乾隆青釉刻畫纏枝蓮紋如意耳瓶,其紋飾佈局與此對瓶類似,見《暫得樓清代官窯單色釉瓷器》,香港,2005年,頁120,圖43。

    香港蘇富比曾售出一件尺寸較小之清乾隆白釉雕雲龍紋瓶,2017年10月3日,拍品編號3603;另見倫敦蘇富比售出一例,2012年11月7日,拍品編號110;香港佳士得亦售出一件清乾隆白釉雕一路連科瓶,尺寸較此對瓶稍小,2012年11月28日,拍品編號2129。
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