A very rare blue and white garlic-head 'joined-lotus' bottle vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Lot 39
A very rare blue and white garlic-head 'joined-lotus' bottle vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Sold for £679,650 (US$ 1,090,869) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and rare blue and white garlic-head bottle vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period
A very rare blue and white garlic-head 'joined-lotus' bottle vase
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
The bulbous body vividly painted in rich, even-toned underglaze blue with meanders of double-headed lotus alternating with smaller lotus blossoms painted in profile issuing from foliate scrolls above a band of key-fret at the foot, the scroll design continuing over the ribbed neck and the bulging garlic-shaped rim. 28.8cm (11¼in) high

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 青花纏枝雙蓮紋蒜頭瓶 青花「大清乾隆年製」篆書款

    Provenance: an English private collection, acquired by the owner's grandfather, in the late 19th or early 20th century and thence by descent within the family

    來源:英國私人收藏,於十九世紀晚期或二十世紀早期由藏家祖父購得,並由家族繼承下去


    The present vase is extremely rare in the decoration of the lotus blossoms. Unusually, the full open blossoms are painted as two lotus flowers joined together, but issuing from a single stem. The only other comparable example in form and design is a doucai garlic-head 'joined-lotus' bottle vase, Qianlong mark and period, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl.230. The motif of two lotus blossoms growing from the same stem is very auspicious, forming a rebus bingdi tongxin 並蒂同心, which means 'May you have a harmonious marriage and share the same ideals'.

    This rare decorative element of a joined-lotus can also be seen on a famille rose ruby-ground enamelled vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, in the Qing Court Collection, National Palace Museum, Taipei, dated to 1743, illustrated in Liao Pao Show, Stunning Decorative Porcelains from the Ch'ien-lung Reign, Taipei, 2008, pl.29. Another example with this rare feature can be seen on a doucai bowl, Qianlong mark and period, in the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in Qing Imperial Porcelain of the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong Reigns, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.105.

    The rarity of this feature would suggest that the present vase was a special imperial commission.

    The National Palace Museum vase is dated to 1743, a time during which the Imperial porcelain production was directed by Tang Ying (1682-1756). The similarity of the joined-lotus feature on the one hand and the rarity of this decoration on the other, would indicate that the present vase was very possibly produced under the supervision of Tang Ying during the early Qianlong period.
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