A rare famille rose 'eight trigrams' square vase, cong  Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Lot 150
A rare famille rose 'eight trigrams' square vase, cong Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Sold for £92,960 (US$ 151,903) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of a Lady and Gentleman
A rare famille rose 'eight trigrams' square vase, cong
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Of archaic cong form, standing on a heavy spreading circular foot, the four sides moulded the same with eight trigrams in groups of three horizontal ribs, the ribs enamelled in shades of brown with various 'yinyang' symbols, all on an opaque ruby-red ground enriched with symmetrical flower heads joined by leafy scrolls, the neck with interlocking C-scrolls (edge glaze flakes retouched).
20cm (8in) high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: An English collection

    Qianlong famille rose vases of this form are extremely rare, and only three others appear to have been sold at auction. An identical vase of this form and decoration was sold at Christie's New York, 28 March 1996, lot 413, and a pair of turquoise-ground bagua cong vases was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 25 April 2004, lot 233. For another cong vase with the same design, but on a yellow ground, see John Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, Vol. IV, Geneva, 1999, pl.A624.

    The Qianlong Emperor retained a deep interest in archaic works of art. As outlined by Jessica Rawson, China: The Three Emperors, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, pg. 272-5, his prized collection of archaic bronzes and jades was 'integral to his identity as a ruler'. To complement his interest in ancient objects, porcelain was made in shapes deriving from antiquity.

    Jade vessels of cong form were made from the Neolithic era through to the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. An example from the Shang/early Zhou Dynasties is included in the sale (lot 18). An archaic jade cong vessel of this rectangular form, with pronounced notched sides, was already in the Imperial Collection during the Yongzheng period, and was included in the Guwan tu scroll, painted in 1728 and now in the Percival David Foundation, London. It is probable that this rare group of famille rose cong vases was inspired by archaic jade vases in the Qianlong Emperor's collection. Certainly, the intricacy of the decoration and quality of the enamelling on the current vase bear testament to the highest levels of quality in porcelain produced in Jingdezhen.
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