A magnificent and extremely rare Beijing enamel 'European subject' vase Qianlong blue-enamel four-character mark and of the period
Lot 249
A magnificent and extremely rare Beijing enamel 'European subject' vase Qianlong blue-enamel four-character mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 1,824,000 (US$ 235,221) inc. premium
Lot Details
A magnificent and extremely rare Beijing enamel 'European subject' vase
Qianlong blue-enamel four-character mark and of the period
Of elegant pear-shaped form and flattened section, supported on a short splayed foot, gently curving at the neck to a waisted neck and oviform-shaped mouth, suitable for pouring, the finely wrought copper body exquisitely enamelled on each side with an elaborate panel bordered with luxuriant lotus scrollwork, one with a landscape scene depicting a European lady picking flowers accompanied by a young boy, with part of a tower and ramparts in the background, the lady's beautiful countenance framed under her beige hat, her hair adorned with a pink hydrangea, the other showing the lady and boy transposed to another rustic setting, with a European building in the background, the lady depicted holding a hydrangea sprig, the pigments intricately applied in modulated minute stippling, creating a vivid sense of three-dimensionality, divided on the sides by two smaller panels decorated in puce-enamel with European landscape scenes, one showing a church amidst the mountains, the other a bucolic scene, all reserved against a sumptuous dense design of various flowers depicted intertwined against a brilliant yellow ground, above a band of stylised petal lappets, the foot with a formal floral collar, the shoulder decorated with a copper band chased with archaistic leiwen scroll, the neck enamelled with a band of upright stiff leaves set against scrolling foliage on a lemon-yellow ground, the interior enamelled turquoise, the base enamelled white and inscribed with the four-character mark within a double square.
14.5cm high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Robert Chang collection
    Christie's New York, 21 March 2000, lot 96

    Illustrated 出版:
    An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, Christie's London, June 1993, pg. 224, no.107.

    清乾隆 銅胎畫琺瑯繁花地開光西洋人物淨瓶 「乾隆年製」楷款

    來源:
    張宗憲先生舊藏
    紐約佳士得2000年3月21日拍賣,拍品編號96

    This enamel vase is an extraordinary testament to arguably the greatest example of workmanship emanating from the Beijing palace workshops during the Qianlong reign. Clearly made in very small numbers, due to the complexity of production, this select group of enamel-on-copper wares featuring European-subject scenes is extremely rare.

    The closest related example in private hands is the famous enamel-on-copper vase, formerly in the collection of Hermann von Mandl of Vienna, Consul of the Netherlands at Tianjin in the Guangxu period, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 17 May 1989, lot 422, and again, 29 October 2000, lot 3. That vase, though slightly larger at 15.5cm, and flanked with gilt-copper lion-mask handles, shares a similar decorative scheme as the current vase, with similar elaborate rococo panels of European figures, puce-enamel landscape vignettes at the side, and a similar dense floral yellow ground.

    For another enamel-on-copper vase from this same coveted group, see a 'Guanyin' vase in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999,. pg.235, pl.120 (fig.1). See also the 'European subject' snuff bottle, formerly in the collections of A.W. Bahr, Hugh Moss, and George and Mary Bloch, sold in these rooms for a world-record price on 28 May, 2010, lot 129 (fig.2).
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