A rare and small Ming-style blue and white moonflask, bianhu, Qianlong/ 18th C ??
Lot 173*
A rare small Ming-style blue and white moonflask, bianhu 18th century
Sold for £96,000 (US$ 160,597) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
The property of a Gentleman
A rare small Ming-style blue and white moonflask, bianhu
18th century
Of flattened circular form rising from a flat slightly-recessed base with cylindrical neck flanked by two bracket handles, decorated to each side with a pair of magpies perched on blossoming branches, all below a band of stylised tendrils at the shoulder and a single sprig on bamboo on either side of the neck, the handles detailed with scrolls, fitted box.
18.2cm (7¼in) high. (2).


  • Provenance: T.T. Tsui, Hong Kong
    An Important private collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1828
    An Asian private collection

    Illustrated: The Tsui Museum of Art: Chinese Ceramics IV, Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.62.

    The form and design of the present lot are after the early 15th century blue and white moonflasks, such as the one at the Percival David Foundation exhibited at the British Museum, illustrated by M.Medley, The Chinese Potter: A Practical History of Chinese Ceramics, Oxford, 1976, pl.VI, p.193. The shape may be derived from Syrian glassware as noted by R.Scott in Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art: A Guide to the Collection, London, 1989, Catalogue no.61.

    The present lot is singular for its rare small size and refined painting, but is comparable in shape and design to larger flasks from important museum collections. See The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (III), Hong Kong, 2000, pl.97; and Eastern Ceramics and Other Works of Art from the Collection of Gerald Reitlinger, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1981, Catalogue no.121, attributed to circa 1730. Related moonflasks, dated to the 18th century, were also produced in underglaze blue and yellow enamel ground, as illustrated by J.Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva, Chinese Ceramics, Vol.IV, 1974, Catalogue no.A 573, with a Yongzheng seal mark; see also an underglaze red flask with a Qianlong seal mark, illustrated by C.J.A.Jörg, Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam, 1997, Catalogue no.136.
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