A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2)
Lot 181
A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase
Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 76,280,000 (US$ 9,771,886) inc. premium

Lot Details
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A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2) A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2) A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2) A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2) A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (2)
A rare and important blue and white garlic-mouth vase
Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
Superbly potted with tapering sides rising to a steep shoulder, the waisted neck ending in a bulbous garlic mouth, the main body decorated with interlocking lotus, pomegranate, peony, camellia and seasonal flowers alternating in two tiers, brilliantly drawn with spiraling tendrils and resting between a band of stiff lappets and a frieze of classic waves, the shoulder exhibiting a chain of alternating flower heads encircled by circular and ruyi-head borders, above a band of twelve stylised lotus sprays and keyfret scrolls, the neck rendered with further interlocking lappets and downward ruyi-heads ending in a collar of interspersed circular flower heads with curly tendrils, all in various tones of rich cobalt blue above a slightly milky-white ground, the base with a six-character zhuanshu seal mark, wood stand.
55cm (21 5/8in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 青花纏枝花卉紋蒜頭大瓶 青花「大清雍正年製」篆書款

    Provenance 來源:
    From the collection of Yoneo Sakai (1900-1978)
    坂井米夫先生(1900-1978)舊藏

    Yoneo Sakai (1900-1978) was one of Japan's most highly respected journalists and foreign correspondents. Born in Saga prefecture, he studied literature at Kansai Gakuin and Meiji Gakuin, and joined the Kokusai joho sha as an editor of motion pictures and drama (eiga to engi). He moved to San Francisco in 1926 where he contributed to Japanese language newspapers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. From 1931 he worked as a foreign correspondent for Asahi shimbun, covering the civil war in Spain in 1937, and traveling to Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Italy, Germany, Palestine and China from 1937 to 1939. He was interned at the Granada Relocation Center during World War II, and taught Japanese at the University of Colorado until 1948. In 1949 he and his family moved to Washington D.C., where he resumed his journalism career, working as a foreign correspondent for major newspapers, wire services and magazines in Japan during the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations until his death in 1978. He hosted a radio show, America dayori (News from America), where he interviewed Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Ernest Hemingway, and covered the Vietnam war during the Johnson and early Nixon administrations. He became a U.S. citizen in 1956.

    Information courtesy of the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library, Department of Special Collections.

    This magnificent garlic-head vase is extraordinarily rare and the only other known example is in the Palace Museum, Beijing from the Qing Court Collection: see a very similar blue and white garlic-mouth vase, Yongzheng seal mark and of the period, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), Beijing, 2010, pl.93. The Qing Court Collection vase and the present lot demonstrate slight variations in the distinctive descending lappet band below the shoulder and in the choice of moulded decoration in the key-fret band below the neck. This form is further recorded by Geng Baochang in Ming Qing ciqi jianding, Hong Kong, 1993, p.236, fig.12.

    This form and design continued onto the Qianlong period; compare a similar blue and white garlic-mouth vase, Qianlong seal mark and of the period, from the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated ibid., pl.121.

    The present vase arguably encapsulates the very finest of imperial Yongzheng period porcelain production painted in underglaze blue and white. The relatively short Yongzheng period was a peak of innovation in form and refinement in design and execution. The garlic-mouth section of the vase is clearly inspired by early Ming dynasty blue and white moonflasks, bianhu of the Yongle and Xuande periods; the high-walled body is similar in shape to fishbowls; the wide shoulders would have been a necessity in combining the two former features; altogether accomplishing a striking and elegant form, creating a decorative canvas both around the imposing body, the wide shoulders and neck. The distinctiveness of the three main sections of the vessel, i.e. body, shoulders and neck, has been emphasised by the two moulded borders portioning the parts and decorative schemes, between the body and shoulders and the shoulders and neck, with the additional result of creating a further layer of three-dimensionality in the vessel.

    The importance of the vase and intricate design is illustrated in the unusually large number of different borders – 11 different bands (excluding the double lines). These like the garlic-head form, are inspired by Yuan and early Ming dynasty designs: the crashing waves can be seen on Yuan guan jars and Yongle flasks (showing related whirl designs), see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (I), Beijing, 2010, pls.5 (Yuan guan), 36 (Yongle flask); for a related composite floral scroll, painted with 12 main blooms, see ibid., pl.5 (Yongle flask); compare related floral scrolls below the rim of a blue and white zun, Yongle, illustrated ibid., pl.46; and a lotus scroll on the exterior of a Yongle shallow bowl, ibid., pl.55; see also the double-lined lobed lappets, illustrated ibid., pl.94 on a Xuande flask. However, the almost 'baroque like' border around the shoulders of alternating circular and lobed cartouches would appear to be a distinct innovation of the Yongzheng period and arguably a unique feature exclusive to this type of vase.

    The decorative triumph of the vase and its design lies not only in the exceptional quality of the painting and extravagant design, but also in the 'negative space', allowing a breathing space to admire the various borders and importantly the lustrous glaze over the porcelain body, underlining the pure feat of successful firing of what is a highly complex form of imposing proportions.

    The Yongzheng emperor with his aesthetic sensibility, assertive taste, demanding standards and personal interest and involvement in the arts, pushed them to unprecedented levels of refinement and sophistication. His era, though relatively short and certainly in comparison to those of his father and son, established the identity of what is perceived as Qing art, leaving little for his successors to develop, with his son the Qianlong emperor, concentrating on increasing the scale of production and ostentation and connecting himself with a patrimony that he had inherited; see R.Krahl in "The Yongzheng Emperor: Art Collector and Patron", E.S.Rawski and J.Rawson, eds., China: The Three Emperors 1662-1722, London, 2006, p.245. This innovative drive was made possible by the direction of Tang Ying (1682-1756) who became Vice Director of the Imperial Household Department, Neiwu fu upon the accession to the throne of the Yongzheng emperor. He was sent to Jingdezhen in 1726, starting a new era of porcelain production under imperial patronage, combining both archaic forms and designs as models for inspiration as well as developing new and fanciful ideas. The present vase is such an example of combining elements of earlier forms and designs to create a new innovative shape and elaborate yet highly refined decorative scheme.

    瓶蒜頭,束頸,圓折肩,弧腹漸收,圈足。通身以青花裝飾九層紋飾,口沿飾纏枝菊花紋,頸部飾蕉葉紋上下相對,每組蕉葉紋由長短蕉葉相互重疊,極具層次感,頸部下部繪折枝蓮及迴紋。瓶肩部則飾如意花卉紋、纏枝蓮紋及折枝花,肩部下方飾方形蕉葉紋一周。瓶腹部滿飾纏枝花,近足處飾海水紋。底青花書「大清雍正年製」篆書款。

    坂井米夫(1900-1978)先生為早年日本倍受尊重的駐外記者之一。出身於日本佐賀縣,坂井米夫先後在關西學院大學及明治學院大學進修文學專業,之後於日本國際情報社擔任映畫及演技編輯。1926年搬至美國三藩市後他開始為三藩市、洛杉磯及紐約的日文報紙撰寫文章。1931年他成為朝日新聞社的駐外記者,並負責對1937年的西班牙內戰做專題報導,之後兩年又跋涉土耳其、伊朗、伊拉克、埃及、德國、巴勒斯坦及中國負責報導。第二次世界大戰期間,美國政府對在美日裔美國人進行扣留和轉移,坂井米夫因此被送入位於格蘭納達的日裔美國人集中營,並在避難期間在科羅拉多州立大學教授日文並持續至1948年。1949年後坂井米夫及其家人遷至華盛頓,並重拾其記者生涯,在日本各大報社在杜魯門、艾森豪威爾、肯尼迪及約翰遜四任總統執政下的駐外記者,直至他1978年逝世。坂井米夫的職業生涯充滿傳奇色彩,他曾在自己主辦的「美國新聞」廣播節目中採訪肯尼迪、約翰遜總統及著名作家海明威,亦對約翰遜及尼克松早期執政下的越南戰爭進行過專題報導。坂井米夫在1956年正式成為美國公民。

    以上部分研究資料由加州大學洛杉磯分校Charles E. Young研究圖書館特殊文獻部提供

    此種蒜頭瓶為雍正官窯新創器形,傳世稀少,彌足珍貴。迄今為止相似之例僅見於清宮舊藏一件雍正蒜頭瓶,現藏於北京故宮博物院,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集:青花釉里紅(下)》,香港,1993年,頁107,圖93。耿寶昌先生亦在其著作中提及雍正官窯所創燒的這種特殊器形,見耿寶昌,《明清瓷器鑑定》,香港,1993年,頁236,圖12。乾隆一朝亦對此器形有所仿製,可見收藏於北京故宮博物院一例,見同著錄,頁135,圖121。

    雍正一朝雖僅十三年,但製瓷工藝卻不斷推陳出新,使其得到空前發展。雍正朝青花瓷器又以仿製明代永樂、宣德最為精美。此蒜頭瓶形制亦可能是受到明代永宣時期官窯所燒造的不同瓷器而啟發,再加之用青料鐘筆點染以刻意仿製出永宣青花瓷中的鐵鏽斑點,從而創燒出如此氣勢恢宏卻又清新淡雅的仿古佳器。

    雍正皇帝對瓷器燒造要求機器嚴肅認真,為隨後的乾隆時期所不及,此時燒造的許多官窯器的器形、圖案及品種都需要御批審定並御出新樣後方可奉命燒造。雍正皇帝對製瓷工藝的情有獨鍾及嚴格要求無疑也為清宮御用瓷器設立的一個全新標準,而唐英在雍正一朝製瓷業中所起的主導作用及貢獻亦不可磨滅。從雍正六年起,唐英即以內務府員外郎之職奉命協助年希堯燒造官窯瓷器,他苦心實踐、萃精會神,參古今之式,動以新意,創巧妙之佳器。而本蒜頭瓶無疑是雍正時期製瓷巔峰的難得佳器之一。

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  • Please note that we will not be accepting internet "Live" bidding on this lot. Please contact Bonhams Hong Kong Customer Service Team, for alternate methods of registration and bidding. Tel: +852 2918 4321, Email: info.hk@bonhams.com 請留意本拍品不接受買家進行在線即時競投。如閣下於參與競投本拍品,請與香港邦瀚斯客服團隊聯繫。 電話:+852 2918 4321,電郵:info.hk@bonhams.com
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