An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6)
Lot 120
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu
Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Sold for HK$ 28,540,000 (US$ 3,655,628) inc. premium

Lot Details
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu  Qianlong seal marks and of the period  (6)
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial blue and white 'Bajixiang' moonflasks, bianhu
Qianlong seal marks and of the period
Each of flattened globular form rising from a short spreading foot to a cylindrical neck flanked by S-shaped moulded foliate handles, the body boldly painted on each main side in vivid shades of cobalt blue simulating the 'heaped and piled' effect, with a raised central boss decorated with a stylised flowerhead encircled by a key-fret border and lotus petal panels, all encircled by radiating lotus lappets enclosing the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang, within a key-fret border, the neck and foot painted with lingzhi fungus foliate scrolls, the sides decorated with bands of leafy scrolls issuing lotus blossoms, the base with a six-character zhuanshu seal mark, hardwood stands, fitted boxes. Each 49cm (19 1/4in) high (6).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 青花八吉祥紋雙耳扁壺一對 青花「大清乾隆年製」篆書款

    Provenance:
    William Skinner Family, Wistariahurst, Holyoke, Massachusetts
    William Cobbett Skinner (1857-1947) and Ruth Isabel (Belle) Skinner (1866-1928) Katharine Skinner Kilborne (1873-1968)
    Belle Skinner Kilborne Taylor (1926-2016)

    來源:
    美國馬薩諸塞州,霍利奧克市,威廉·斯金納家族舊藏
    威廉·庫伯·斯金納(1857-1947)及露絲·伊莎貝爾·斯金納(1866-1928)
    凱瑟琳·斯金納·基爾伯恩(1873-1968)
    貝爾·斯金納·基爾伯恩·泰勒(1926-2016)

    Imposing blue and white bajixiang moonflasks, Qianlong seal marks and of the period, such as the present lot, are rare and it is exceptional to find a surviving pair.

    Single moonflasks of this impressive size can be found in important museum collections; see Porcelain of the National Palace Museum: Blue-and-White Ware of the Ch'ing Dynasty, vol.II, Hong Kong, 1968, pp.50-51, pls.15 and 15a-c (measuring 49.3cm high); another from the Qing Court collection is illustrated in The Prime Cultural Relics Collected by Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum: The Chinaware Volume I, Shenyang, 2007, pl.35 (measuring 49.5cm high); a further moonflask in the Nanjing Museum, is illustrated in Treasures in the Royalty: The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p.295 (measuring 50cm high); another similar moonflask is illustrated in Studies of the Collections of the National Museum of China, Shanghai, 2007, pl.83 (measuring 49.2cm high); a further example is published in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl.949 (measuring 49.2cm high); and another is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art: Chinese Ceramics IV Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.75 (measuring 49.6cm high).

    Similar moonflasks were also produced in a smaller size measuring approximately 34.5cm high, such as the one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by N.Berliner, The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City, New Haven, 2010, pl.66; and see also a further large moonflask, Qianlong seal mark and period, with similar design but with the motifs on the front and reverse of the body carved and under a celadon glaze, also around the rims, illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art: Chinese Ceramics IV Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.87 (measuring 48cm high).

    The shape of the moonflasks is inspired by early Ming dynasty blue and white flasks, which in turn were inspired by early Islamic metal prototypes; see J.A.Pope, 'An Early Ming Porcelain in Muslim Style', in R.Ettinghausen, ed., Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst: Festschrift für Ernst Kühnel, Berlin, 1959, pp.357-375. In decoration these imposing moonflasks were also inspired by early Ming dynasty blue and white wares, as exemplified in a blue and white basin, Yongle, from the Avery Brundage collection in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, painted to the interior with a similar design of eight petals enclosing the Buddhist Emblems radiating from a central medallion enclosing a double-vajra. In the Qianlong moonflask, the master potters interpreted the double-vajra to depict a flowerhead and altered the order of the Emblems; see He Li, Chinese Ceramics, San Francisco, 1996, pl.398; and see also the interpretation of the central boss and overall form, related to the Yongle period blue and white flasks, which were flattened on one side, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglaze Red (I), Shanghai, 2010, pls.34-37. More directly, the Qianlong period moonflasks were produced after Yongzheng period ones, such as the one in the Qing Court collection, in the Palace Museum, Beijing (museum no.GU00156642).

    The moonflasks would have graced one of the Imperial halls, conveying a threefold message: in taking its inspiration from early Ming dynasty vessels - the status of the Qing dynasty and its Mandate of Heaven to rule in continuation of the Ming dynasty; in depicting the bajixiang - the Buddhist devoutness of the emperor and auspicious wishes symbolised by the Emblems; and in their imposing size, the skill of the master potters to successfully produce such large vessels in porcelain and therefore the prosperity and prowess achieved at the height of the Qianlong reign.

    Only one other pair of blue and white bajixiang moonflasks, Qianlong seal marks and of the period, appears to have been sold at auction, see Sotheby's London, 15 May 2013, lot 222; a single similar moonflask, Qianlong seal mark and period, was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 April 2011, lot 3123; and another single similar moonflask, Qianlong seal mark and period, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 December 2010, lot 2826.

    扁壺唇口,直頸,下接扁圓腹,截面成腰鼓形,兩側卷雲耳連接頸肩,下承長方形弧角圈足,足牆外撇。通體以釉下鈷藍裝飾,口沿迴紋一周,頸部及足牆飾卷葉靈芝。器扁腹兩側飾纏枝蓮花。扁腹圓面以中央中心圓形凸起為花心,花心呈六出雪花結晶狀,外圍迴紋及兩層花瓣,內層為小葉片門字形蓮瓣,外層為八片尖蓮瓣,蓮瓣內分別飾八寶,足內釉下青花書「大清乾隆年製」三行六字篆書款。

    此式扁壺傳世品中成對者寥寥無幾,相對尺寸之單件,見台北故宮博物院藏一例,見《故宮藏瓷:清青花瓷》,卷二,香港,1968年,頁50-51及15a-c(49.3厘米高);瀋陽故宮博物院藏清宮舊藏亦有一例(高49.5厘米),見《瀋陽故宮博物院院藏文物精粹:瓷器卷(上)》,瀋陽,2007年,圖35。另見南京博物院藏一例(50厘米高),著錄於《宮廷珍藏中國清代官窯瓷器》,上海,2003年,頁295;中國國家博物館亦藏一例(49.2厘米高),見《中國國家博物館文物研究叢書:清代瓷器》,上海,2007年,圖83。日本出光美術館藏有兩例(49.2厘米高),見《中國陶磁:出光美術館蔵品図錄》,東京,1987年,圖版94。另徐展堂先生舊藏一例(高49.6厘米),見《徐氏藝術館:陶瓷IV》,香港,1995年,圖75。

    此式扁壺大型器居多,北京故宮博物院藏一例,尺寸稍小(高34.5厘米),但紋飾佈局類似,見Nancy Berliner著,《The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City》,2010年,馬薩諸塞州,編號66。另見以青花及青釉施釉一例(高48厘米),見《徐氏藝術館:陶瓷IV》,香港,1995年,圖87。

    扁壺因腹部有圓形凸起,亦稱為「抱月瓶」或「寶月瓶」,形制受明代早期御器廠燒製抱月瓶影響,起源於伊斯蘭文化金屬器,詳細論著,見J.A.Pope著,「穆斯林風格明早期瓷器」,刊登於《Aus der Welt der Islamischen Kunst: Festschrift für Ernst Kühnel》,柏林,1959年,頁357-375。扁壺扁腹所繪「八吉祥」紋飾,為佛教之八寶,為佛前供器,分別由法輪、法螺、寶傘、白蓋、蓮花、寶罐、金魚、盤長八件組成。每件供器含義不同:輪代表佛說大法圓轉,萬劫不息;螺代表菩薩果妙音吉祥;傘代表張弛自如,曲覆眾生;蓋代表遍覆三千,淨一切樂;花代表出五濁世而無染;罐代表福智圓滿,具完無漏;魚代表堅固活潑,能解壞劫;長代表回環貫徹,一切通明。其青花色澤艷麗,色重處可見細密瘢痕,為刻意模仿永樂、宣德青花暈散之效果,參看舊金山亞洲藝術博物館藏一件明永樂青花八吉祥折沿盆,可見其八吉祥排序與清代仿製品有差異,見He Li,《Chinese Ceramics》,舊金山,1996年,圖版398。北京故宮博物院藏一件明永樂青花抱月瓶,其腹部一面成鼓形,或為此式扁壺原型,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:青花釉裏紅(上)》,上海,2010年,圖34-37。此式八吉祥扁壺雍正朝亦有燒製,見北京故宮博物院藏一例,博物館編號故00156642。

    此對扁壺形制更加碩大,配合圓碩扁平的瓶體以及雙卷雲耳,更顯大氣穩重、古雅端莊。此式扁壺的燒造對胎質比重要求極高,否則容易承受不住窯內高溫而導致坍塌變形,能成功燒製之實為不易。其作為清宮陳設器皿,更有三重意義:其宗教色彩為滿清皇室崇佛禮佛並與蒙藏權貴禮尚往來的歷史見證;其對前朝的慕仿及超越體現滿清皇室對中原統治之權威;其工藝程度前無古人後無來者,為清代官窯燒製頂峰佳例。 傳世品中,成對者僅見倫敦蘇富比曾售出一例,2013年5月15日,拍品222。單件者,見仇炎之舊藏一例,後售於香港蘇富比,2011年4月8日,拍品3123;另見葛沃得舊藏一例,後由香港佳士得拍出,2010年12月1日,拍品2826。

    PLEASE REFER TO THE E-CATALOGUE FOR A FULL RESEARCH ON THE SKINNER FAMILY COLLECTION BY WILLIAM R. SARGENT AND AN ARTICLE ON THE MOONFLASKS IN THE PALACE MUSEUM, BEIJING BY HUANG WEIWEN

    請查看電子圖錄以閱覽WILLIAM R. SARGENT以及黃衛文先生對此拍品之相關論述。
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