A fine and rare blue and white 'thousand butterflies' moonflask, bianhu Qianlong
Lot 238
A fine and rare blue and white 'thousand butterflies' moonflask, bianhu
Qianlong
Sold for HK$ 437,500 (US$ 56,364) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and rare blue and white 'thousand butterflies' moonflask, bianhu
Qianlong
Crisply potted rising from a short recessed oval foot, the cylindrical neck flanked by a pair of gently lobed handles, the main body and neck decorated all round with butterflies in flight and evenly scattered floral sprays, all framed between encircling shrubs at the foot and downward ruyi-head and floral lappets at the shoulder, lingzhi and bamboo bordered by meandering scroll and trefoil diaper borders. 32.5cm high.

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 青花百蝶花卉靈芝紋抱月瓶

    The current of moonflask (or bianhu form) originates from the Ming dynasty Yongle and Xuande period prototypes. Although the present lot retains the general Ming-style form, the design has further developed with wider neck and elongated handles as well as a more prominent oval foot at the base towards Qing dynasty. It also represents the continuous development and stylistic achievements in porcelain production during the seventeenth century, for example, the greater control and use of the different shades of blue to create significantly more complicated decorative motifs such as butterflies in flight.

    See a Ming dynasty version of a blue and white moonflask decorated with leafy scrolls (accession no.GU143576) in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Gugong Bowuyuan Cang Mingchu Qinghua Ci. Shang Ce, Beijing, 2002, pp.166-167, no.87. Compare also a mid Qing dynasty bianhu decorated with a bird perched on flowering prunus tree branches and with similar unmarked base dated to the Yongzheng period in the Meiyintang collection, previously in the Richard de la Mare collection and later in the Su Lin An collection, illustrated by Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection. Volume Four (II), London, 2010, pp.232-233, no.1712.
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