A rare blue and copper-red pear-shaped vase 18th century
Lot 108
A rare blue and copper-red pear-shaped vase 18th century
Sold for £14,400 (US$ 24,189) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A rare blue and copper-red pear-shaped vase
18th century
Boldly painted on one side in a richly-toned cherry-red and blue palette with a large cluster of twelve peaches irregularly grouped along two long leafy branches, the design extending almost around the vase beneath a band of formal lotus scroll at the shoulder and overlapping stiff leaves rising to the flaring rim.
27cm (10¾in) high.


  • Provenance: Bluett and Son, London
    FG and EH Morrill, Collection no.85
    Edward (Ted) Wrangham, O.B.E. (1928-2009) Collection

    During the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods potters at Jingdezhen sought to emulate the style and quality of 'classic' Ming Dynasty porcelains and treasured antiques from the Imperial collection were sent to Jingdezhen to be copied. The present vase owes much of its form, stylistic composition and even colour to earlier Ming Dynasty prototypes. However, the production of porcelain vessels displaying the technical virtuosity of successfully firing both the under-glaze cobalt blue and copper-red displays the creative inspiration of Jingdezhen potters who, from the mid-Kangxi Period onwards were determined to revive, and indeed improve, the classic copper-red porcelains of the early 15th century, see R.Scott(ed.), Chinese Copper Red Wares, London, 1991, p.27. It is interesting to compare a Yongle blue and white pear-shaped vase with its Qianlong Period counterpart, which is unusually painted in underglaze-copper-red against a ground of overglaze yellow enamel, illustrated by E.S.Rawski and J.Rawson, China. The Three Emperors 1662-1722, London, 2005, Catalogue nos.207 and 208.

    The fruiting peach branches were a popular decorative motif on early 15th century porcelains, see for example a Yongle Period bowl in the British Museum illustrated by J.Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics in the British Museum, London, 2001, p.113, fig.3:26. Its Qing Dynasty counterpart, a Yongzheng mark and period bowl painted with related peach blossoms, but in underglaze-red, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics. The New Standard Guide, London, 1996, p.287, fig.582.

    The present vase may well have taken its decorative inspiration from Xuande Period blue and white meipings, similarly painted with fruiting and blossoming peach branches, see one example in the Palace Museum, Beijing illustrated in Ming Chu Qing Hua Ci, Vol.I, Beijing, 2002, fig.76. See a Yongzheng Period underglaze-blue and red meiping similarly painted with fruiting and blossoming peach branches, as well as fruiting pomegranates and berries in the Shanghai Museum, see Underglaze Blue & Red, Shanghai, p.198, fig.187.