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.
Chinese Works of Art
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