A rare peach-bloom circular brushwasher with box and cove Kangxi six-character mark and of the period
Lot 256
A rare peach-bloom circular brushwasher with box and cove Kangxi six-character mark and of the period
HK$ 1.6 million - 2 million
US$ 210,000 - 260,000
Lot Details
A rare peach-bloom circular brushwasher with box and cove
Kangxi six-character mark and of the period
Of compressed globular form with an inverted mouthrim rising from a short foot with a concaved base, the exterior richly enamelled in an attractive deep carmine fading into a sweet salmon pink, speckled with small patches of olive green around the waist, the base with a six-character mark, accompanied with an old and documentary circular wooden box and cover, the upper slightly domed surface with an affixed silver plaque engraved with the words "Major Genl. James H. Wilson, China Relief Expedition, Sept 2nd - Nov 4th 1900".
11.7cm diam. (3).

Footnotes

  • 清康熙 豇豆紅釉鎲鑼式筆洗 青花「大清康熙年製」楷書款

    Provenance 來源:
    Major General James H. Wilson, China Relief Expedition (affixed plaque)

    The original huanghuali box and cover that accompanies the brushwasher was later fixed with a metal plaque, and inscribed with the name and title 'Major Genl. James H. Wilson'.

    James H. Wilson (September 2, 1837 – February 23, 1925) served in the United States Army as a topographic engineer and a Union Army Major General in the American Civil War. After resigning from the Army in December 1870, he became a railroad construction engineer and executive and devoted his time to business and public affairs. In 1898, he returned to the Army and served in the Spanish-American War, and three years later as a brigadier-general in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

    Although copper-red glazes had been developed in the late Yuan dynasty and reached a peak of quality in the Xuande period, there was still a gap of almost three centuries for the Imperial kilns to recreate copper-red glazes due to its fugitive and volatile nature. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, complicated techniques were specially developed to recreate copper-red decorated porcelains under the command of the Kangxi Emperor.

    Jiangdouhong, known as 'peach-blooms' in the West, were developed by adding respectively two additional layers of clear glazes before and after applying the copper pigment, which deliberately results in a natural variation of the pigment in the firing. The combination of the mottled green skin and the peach-like pink colouration were considered the only acceptable natural variation of copper-red glazes by the Imperial Household Department at the time. As the Qing dynasty connoisseurs Hong Beijiang described the glaze, 'green as the algae grows in water, red as the sunglow of the dawn'. For similar examples preserved in the collections of the Palace Museum, Beijing and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., see The Complete Collection of the Treasures of the Palace Museum, Monochrome Porcelian, Hong Kong, 1999, p.22, pl.19, and Virginia Bower, The Collections of the National Gallery of Art, Part I, Washington, 1998, p.72, pl.98.

    洗呈鎲鑼式,斂口,圈足,內施白釉,外施豇豆紅釉,綠色苔點分佈均勻。清代康熙時期,景德鎮御窯廠在繼承前代的基礎上不斷創新,並成功先後燒製出郎窯紅、豇豆紅和霽紅等多種紅釉瓷。而其中以豇豆紅燒製難度最大,以其變化多端,既有「豇豆紅」,也有「蘋果綠」,被以「綠如青水初生日,紅似朝霞遇上時」而美譽。

    銅紅釉在瓷器上的使用雖從元末明初便有所開始,但由於高溫銅紅釉極易揮發並難以控制,銅紅釉器於宣德年後幾乎斷燒,至康熙年間成功燒造並為清宮所喜,傳世康熙豇豆紅釉器以太白尊,菊瓣瓶等較為多見,洗則少見,故此器彌足珍貴。

    此洗原配一黃花梨木盒,盒內施黑漆,做工精良,盒蓋上嵌一銀牌,上鈐英文「Major General James H. Wilson China Relief Expedition Sep. 2nd - Nov. 4th 1900」,可推斷為詹姆斯·H·威爾遜將軍舊藏,銀牌應為威爾遜將軍後加。威爾遜將軍生於1837年9月2日,卒於1925年2月23日,在美國南北戰爭期間在軍隊服役,擔任地形測量工程師,1870那年退伍後,轉業成為鐵路總工程師,1898年再度服役參加美西戰爭,後於1901年被派往中國擔任準將,協助鎮壓義和團運動。

    類似的豇豆紅釉筆洗例子,見北京故宮博物院一件清康熙豇豆紅釉鎲鑼式洗,楊靜榮編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:顏色釉》,香港,1999年,頁22,圖版19,以及華盛頓國立美術館,見Virginia Bower,《The Collections of the National Gallery of Art》,第一卷,華盛頓,1998年,頁72,圖版98。
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