A blue and white 'soldier' vase Kangxi
Lot 1151
A blue and white 'soldier' vase Kangxi
Sold for HK$ 900,000 (US$ 116,064) inc. premium
Lot Details
A blue and white 'soldier' vase
Of shouldered cylindrical form with flaring rim, painted around the exterior with four panels, each enclosing narrative scenes, two depicting a court official on horseback, being escorted by attendants bearing flags, before a fenced palace garden with unusual Meissen-style buildings in the background, the other two depicting a Mandarin in his court with numerous attendants, mandarins and musicians, all bordered below by a border of floral roundels reserved on a cracked-ice ground, with a continuous scene of hunters on horseback around the base, the shoulder with six cartouches, each enclosing a single dragon, all set in reserve against a floret diaper ground, the neck with a wide border of leaf-form lappets.
95.4cm (37½in) high.


  • Provenance:
    An Asian family collection

    Vases of this type are referred to as 'soldier' or 'dragoon' vases, after Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony (1670-1733), traded 600 soldiers from his own army for 151 Chinese porcelain vessels, thought to be of similar form and decoration to the present example, with Fredrick William I of Prussia.

    Compare a related example in the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, which is painted with the same scene depicting equestrian figures as seen on the present example, on two of the panels, illustrated by Szan Tan and Wong Hwei-Lian, The Xiang Xue Zhuang Collection: Donations to the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2006, fig.93. The author suggests that this particular scene may have been taken from a woodblock print of the Ming tale 'Xue Rengui Ronggui Guli' ('Xue Rengui's return to his home in glory'), illustrating Xue Rengui, a Tang dynasty naval soldier who served the Emperor Tang Taizong (reigned 627-649) in the defeat of the Eastern Liao army, surveying his newly built Pingliao Manor after the Emperor conferred on his the title 'Pingliao Wang' ('King who subdued the East'), see ibid, p.234.

    A comparable pair were sold at Christie's New York, 23 January 2007, lot 12. Another pair from the Easton Neston Collection, were sold at Sotheby's London, 18 May 2005, lot 798.
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