A very large and rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases Intaglio Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Lot 121
A very large and rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases Intaglio Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Sold for £216,000 (US$ 352,960) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases Late 18th century, Intaglio Qianlong seal marks A rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases Late 18th century A rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases Late 18th century, Intaglio Qianlong seal marks
The Property of a Lady
A very large and rare pair of cloisonné enamel vases
Intaglio Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Each baluster vase colourfully enamelled with eight egrets in flight and standing by a lotus pond with large lotus leaves and blossoms, reeds and grass on an undulating ground, all framed by a ruyi-head border above and lotus-petal panels above the spreading foot, the tall waisted neck finely decorated with bats suspending a multi-coloured geometric form above loquats and a ribboned musical stone, interspersed with lotus blossoms, between ruyi-head and upright stiff leaves borders, the spreading foot with a meandering leafy lotus scroll.
62.5cm and 61cm (24⅝in and 24in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: a European private collection

    The present pair of vases is extremely rare and no other known example of this exact form and design appears to have been published. However, compare a related pair of baluster vases and covers attributed to the Qianlong period, illustrated in Colorful, Elegant and Exquisite: A Special Exhibition of Imperial Enamel Ware from Mr. Robert Chang's Collection, Suzhou Museum, 2007, pp.64-65. For a similar use of the geometric design decorating the neck of the present vases, see a famille rose sgraffiato double-gourd vase, Qianlong mark and period, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong on 8 April 2009, lot 1692. For two examples of 18th century cloisonné enamel vases decorated with a colourful triangular-square design, see Roger Keverne, Summer 2009, London, 2009, Catalogue no.65 and Summer 2010, London, 2010, Catalogue no.69.

    Compare also the similar Qianlong cast six-character seal marks on a pair of cloisonné enamel 'magpie' vases, dated as Qianlong mark and of the period, sold at Christie's Hong Kong on 29 November 2005, lot 1595.

    The decoration on each of the vases of eight egrets amidst lotus represents the Confucian ideal of a virtuous official or the wish for repeated success. The upside-down bats on the neck symbolise 'luck is arriving', their red colour symbolises abundance, and therefore abundance of luck. The auspicious symbolism is doubled by the decoration appearing on both vases. For a vase with related 'egret amidst lotus' design, see a famille rose vase, Qianlong mark and period, from the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collections of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pl.137.
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