An exceptional Yixing stoneware slip-painted and appliqué-decorated 'lotus' teapot and cover Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Lot 108
An exceptional Yixing stoneware slip-painted and appliqué-decorated 'lotus' teapot and cover
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 6,640,000 (US$ 856,763) inc. premium
Lot Details
An exceptional Yixing stoneware slip-painted and appliqué-decorated 'lotus' teapot and cover
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Demonstrating masterful skills and encapsulating the epitome of fine craftsmanship, carefully potted in two tiers with the domed cover and flattened knop forming the third and fourth, separated by two bands of incised key-fret scrolls meeting at the mouthrim, each layer bordered by a band of appled auspicious ruyi heads, the lowermost frieze beautifully embellished with a continuous aquatic scene featuring lush growths of lotus blossoms, buds, pods and leaves all superbly applied to the plain surface, flanked on each side with an upward curled spout and a 'C'-shaped handle with a ruyi-head thumb rest, the recessed circular base with an Imperial six-character zhuanshu seal mark, the stoneware of an evenly rich cocoa brown colour, fitted box.
14.6cm wide. (3).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Gong Xinzhao collection (1870-1949)

    Slip painting decoration on Yixing stoneware began before the early eighteenth century and was already very accomplished during the Yongzheng period (1723-1736). In order to achieve the best result of decoration, it required a high level of sophisticated and precise skill to grind, blend and paint the slip on the stoneware body, so that the slip-painted decoration does not distort during the firing process. The present teapot represents one of the finest examples of slip-painting decoration. Every detail is well rendered by the skilful painting of the finely ground slip with a lighter chocolate-brown colour over the base original rich cocoa brown tone.

    For a Qianlong mark and period teapot with similar form and decoration in the Palace Museum, Beijing (fig.1), and probably made for the birthday of the Qianlong Emperor, see Geng Baochang, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Purple Sandy Ware, Shanghai, 2008, pp.30-31, pl.24; another nearly identical teapot to the Palace Museum example with a more reddish tone (fig.2), is illustrated by Han Qilou and Xia Junwei, Zhongguo zisha minghu zhenshang, Shanghai, 2001, p.69, pl.82. For examples of Qianlong mark and period teapots with similar 'lotus pond' decoration, see a square teapot dated to the Qianlong period, also with slip-painted Imperial poems and lotus pond decorations from the Capital Museum, Beijing (fig.3), illustrated by Gao Yuchen and Huang Mingtang, The Treasurable Violet Sand Teapots in all Dynasties in China, Taipei, 1995, p.31, and another Qianlong marked teapot but dated to the Jiaqing period, from the Qing court collection, now in the Palace Museum, Beijing (fig.4), by Wang Jianhua, Yixing Zisha Wares in the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2009, p.93, pl.33. A similar example also dated to the Qianlong period, but with incised Imperial poems instead of slip-painted decoration, currently in the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated by Wu Shan, Zhongguo zisha cidian, (The Thesaurus of Chinese Purple Clay Wares), Jiangsu, 2007, p.8.

    Gong Xinzhao (1870-1949) is known not only for his calligraphy but also for his extensive collection of fine Chinese works of art. As a native of Hefei in Anhui province, Gong received his 'Jinshi' degree at the Imperial examinations in 1895. He worked as the secretary of the Hanlin Academy and later was appointed as the diplomat and ambassador of the Manchurian Empire in Britain, France and Canada during the Guangxu period (1875-1991). Gong was able to access the most outstanding collections of Shang dynasty bronzes, Song dynasty ceramics, classical Chinese paintings by Mi Fu (1051-1107), Ma Yuan (c.1140-1225) and Xia Gui, and masterpieces of Yixing teapots due to his extensive connections with other diplomats as well as aristocrats at the time. Most of his collections were donated to the Shanghai Museum during the 1960s and only a miniscule amount was left available to private collectors. The present teapot, along with lots 105 and 118, represent the expensive and discriminating taste of Gong as a successful connoisseur after 1900.

    清乾隆 御製紫泥繪貼泥荷塘如意詩文壺

    來源:
    龔心釗舊藏(1870-1949)

    壺底:「大清乾隆年製」篆文方印
    題款:御製。霧露掩湖光,憑闌眄渺茫。留餘解說偈,善見不如藏。

    泥質細滑,乾澀潔淨。壺直口短頸,單孔長彎流,如意雲頭狀柄,圓蓋拱起,配合兩層式壺身,整體似三層圓拱式,大、中、小由下而上疊成,比例恰當。通體以泥漿堆繪為飾,每層之頂部飾凸雕如意雲頭紋一周,蓋邊、口沿及鈕邊刻以迴紋,規整有序。蓋以堆繪艾草紋為主飾,壺身上層陰刻隸書詩句曰:「御製。霧露掩湖光,憑闌眄渺茫。留餘解說偈,善見不如藏。」表示出含蓄之美。下層堆繪十二組荷花紋,每組互相呼應,湊成錯落有致的荷塘景色,工藝精細,配合詩意,大方雅致。平底淺圈足內鈐「大清乾隆年製」篆文方印。

    堆繪要求泥漿細潤,稀稠恰到好處,技術要求相當高的工藝。正如王健華於《故宮博物院藏宜興紫砂》前言中云:「泥漿堆繪技法雍正時已相當成熟,發展到乾隆時更是爐火純青...這種堆繪技法乾隆以後基本失傳。」本拍品可說是碩果僅存之例子,更有官窯瓷器之特色,集詩、書、畫、印於一體,彰顯出典型乾隆時期紫砂藝術之高峰。

    北京故宮博物院現藏一件乾隆荷蓮壽字壺,在形製上與本拍品如出一轍(fig.1),該壺分兩層裝飾,上為壽字紋,下為多組荷蓮紋,肩部飾如意雲頭紋,底鈐「大清乾隆年製」篆文方印,在內容、概念及藝術處理上與本拍品一脈相承,相信該壺為祝壽之用,見耿寶昌編,《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:紫砂器》,上海,2008年,頁30-31,編號24。另一件與北京故宮博物院藏品相似的例子(fig.2),載於韓其樓主編,《中國紫砂茗壺珍賞》,上海,2001年,頁69,編號82。同樣以堆貼詩文及荷蓮紋為主題的例子,還有現藏於首都博物館的貼花蓮塘紋御製詩方壺(fig.3),雖該壺之形狀與本拍品不同,但紋飾及處理手法類同,是為一佐證,載於高玉珍、黃明堂編,《歷代紫砂瑰寶》,台北,1995年,頁31。除此以外,本拍品與清故宮舊藏一件宜興窯凸荷蓮紋壺相比(fig.4),在處理堆繪荷蓮紋,以及其蓋頂之詩句上,更為細膩,手工更為精細。而該壺內有多個出水洞,斷代為喜慶以後,見故宮博物院編,《故宮博物院藏宜興紫砂》,北京,2009年,頁93,圖版33。另見上海博物館藏一件清乾隆御製詩壺,雖並未以泥繪飾荷蓮紋,但屬同類器形,見吳山,《中國紫砂辭典》,江蘇,2007年,頁8。

    本拍品配原裝舊式蓋盒,內貼有「龔心釗真賞印」篆文長方印、「合淝龔氏瞻麓齋記」篆文長方印。龔心釗(1870-1949),字懷希、懷西,瞻麓齋主人。龔照瑗之子。安徽合肥人,寓居上海。任授翰林院編修,後任清代最後一任科舉考官。光緒年間出使英國、法國等地,也曾任加拿大總領事,著名清代外交家。其交游廣闊,喜歡四處搜羅,加上官場勢力,使其收藏甚豐,青銅、玉石、書畫及紫砂皆為其心頭好,愛不釋手,潛心研究,更會專門訂造錦盒、本匣,精心設計配色用料,好好保存,成為個人獨有收藏風格,其收藏之認真態度,精闢的審美眼光,正好體現在本拍品之上。60年代其後輩把500多件藏品捐獻於上海市文物管員會,現藏上海博物館。本專場中其他龔氏舊藏包括拍品編號105及118。
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first HKD800,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from HKD800,001 to HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over HKD1,000,000 of the Hammer Price.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Xibo Wang
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work +852 3607 0010
  2. John Chong
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work +852 3607 0013