A rare painted enamel 'millefleurs' seal-paste box and cover Qianlong four-character mark and of the period
Lot 89
A rare painted enamel 'millefleurs' seal-paste box and cover
Qianlong four-character mark and of the period
Sold for £55,000 (US$ 88,157) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare painted enamel 'millefleurs' seal-paste box and cover Qianlong four-character mark and of the period A rare painted enamel 'millefleurs' seal-paste box and cover Qianlong four-character mark and of the period
A rare painted enamel 'millefleurs' seal-paste box and cover
Qianlong four-character mark and of the period
Delicately painted with a fine 'millefleurs' design covering the exterior of the box and cover with a multitude of flowers including peony, rose, iris, chrysanthemum, aster and lily in shades of pink, blue, yellow, white and purple enamels, the interior and underside enamelled white.
5.9cm (2 3/8in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 畫琺瑯百花紋圓蓋盒 藍彩「乾隆年製」楷書款

    Provenance: an English private collection, probably acquired in the 1960s

    來源: 英國私人收藏,有可能購於1960年代

    Millefleurs patterns appear to have first decorated wares made during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor; see for example an Imperial millefleurs glass snuff bottle from the Palace workshops in Beijing illustrated by H.Moss et al., A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol.6. Part 1, Arts of the Fire Hong Kong, 2008, no.1062, in which the author notes that this is one of the earliest known examples of the millefleurs pattern.

    The design is most associated with the Qianlong period, and it is during this reign that we see some of the finest examples of the pattern. The complex but delicate pattern was particularly suited to relatively small wares and can define a distinct group of porcelains, painted enamels such as the present seal paste box, and 'miniature' pieces such as snuff bottles. Compare a similar painted enamel box and cover, also with a Qianlong mark and of the period, illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels 5, Beijing, 2011, no.95, and another from the National Palace Museum Taipei, illustrated in Radiant Luminance: The Painted Enamelware of the Qing Imperial Court, Taipei, 2012, no.101A.

    For related wares with the millefleurs design, see a vase from the Grandidier Collection, now in the Musée Guimet, illustrated by M. Beurdeley and G. Raindre, Qing Porcelain - Famille Verte, Famille Rose, London, 1987, pp. 118-9, no. 164; and a beaker in the Liaoning Provincial Museum, illustrated in The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics, Shanghai, 1999-2000, vol. 15, no. 37. See also a pair of small saucer dishes with Yanghetang zhi marks sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2012, lot 3993.
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