A rare large famille rose baluster 'boys at play' vase Daoguang iron-red six-character seal mark and of the period
Lot 275
A rare large famille rose baluster 'boys at play' vase Daoguang iron-red six-character seal mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 2,300,000 (US$ 296,767) inc. premium
Lot Details
The Property of a Gentleman
A rare large famille rose baluster 'boys at play' vase
Daoguang iron-red six-character seal mark and of the period
Superbly enamelled in shades of pink, blue, turquoise, yellow, lime and spinach green with a continuous wide band around the body depicting a multitude of boys at play, one side with them holding lanterns and banners, riding hobby horses and swimming in a lake beneath a bridge, the other with them gathered in and around a walled pavilion courtyard playing musical instruments including a trumpet, cymbals and a drum, others clustered with fish banners in a procession, all reserved on a pink ground enriched with scrolling flowering lotus surmounted beneath the trumpet rim with two large gilt 'shuangxi' (double-happiness) characters, the sides set with blue pierced chilong handles, the interior of the neck and foot turquoise glazed.
48cm high.

Footnotes

  • 清道光 琺瑯彩嬰戲圖螭龍耳瓶 礬紅「大清道光年製」篆書款

    Until the discovery of this vase, the only other example recorded in any museum or private collection was the identical vase sold in our London rooms, 12 May 2011, lot 362 (fig.1). The two vases are identical in form and decoration, strongly suggesting that they were originally a pair. The vase sold in London was previously owned by a Glasgow family in the 1930s, with an old label on the base reading: 'Taken from the 'Royal Palace Pekin' by the French. Brought home by a Medical Gentleman'.

    The design is inspired by Qianlong reign-marked examples enamelled with boys at play, as illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pls.121, 128, 132. A related Jiaqing reign-marked vase of similar form and decoration and a smaller Daoguang reign-marked vase of related design are illustrated, ibid.,pls.168 and 194.

    The present vase is adorned with three blessings relating to the New Year celebration: 'Tianxia taiping' ('Universal Peace'), 'Chunwang zhengyue' ('First month of the lunar year'), 'Tianzi wannian' ('Long live the Emperor'). Traditionally, the celebration marked the end of the winter season, and began on the first day of the first month ('zhengyue'), ending with the lantern festival. The present vase carefully follows this theme, starting with the blessings and following on with the numerous colourful lanterns held aloft by the 'Hundred Boys' engaged in play and music within a garden landscape. These blessings are further reinforced by the double-happiness characters on the neck.
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