A rare large carp tureen and cover Qianlong

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Lot 100
A rare large carp tureen and cover
Qianlong

Sold for £ 66,000 (US$ 92,947) inc. premium
The property of a Lady
A rare large carp tureen and cover
Qianlong
Finely modelled lying on its side with the head and tail curled upwards, the body lightly moulded with scales and fins, enamelled with iron-red, grey and gilt realistically shaded to depict the undulating scaly surface, the cover surmounted by a small carp finial.
47.2cm (18½in) long. (2).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: a Portuguese private collection

    Large carp tureens of this size are extremely rare and appear to have been produced between 1755 to 1790 when the popularity in Europe for ceramics with naturalistic trompe d'oeil decoration was at its height. Carp tureens, such as the present example, appear to have been made after European examples. See, for example, a Chelsea plaice-shaped dessert tureen circa 1756, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, illustrated by P.Glanville and H.Young, Elegant Eating: Four hundred years of dining in style, London, 2002, pp.100-101. This flattened form produced in two sections (with the upper section forming the cover) was produced in Chinese porcelain circa 1740-1760, as illustrated by an example formerly in the Mottahedeh Collection, illustrated by D.Howard and J.Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, p.588, fig.612.

    Carp tureens with smaller covers following the form of the fish, such as the present example, were also produced at the same time, circa 1750-1780. An un-enamelled tureen and cover (48.3cm long) in the Copeland Collection is remarkably similar to the present example in dimension and moulding. An enamelled version, which also bears distinct resemblance to the current example, currently in the Gothenburg Historical Museum, was believed to have been brought from China for Niklas Sahlgren (1701-1776), a director of the Swedish East India Company; see S.Roth, Chinese Porcelain Imported by the Swedish East India Company, Gothenburg, 1965, p.27.

    A slightly larger carp tureen (52.6cm long) was sold at Sotheby's London, 29 June 1976, lot 289. A pair of the same size (47.6cm long), with details picked out in pink enamel and bearing a Spanish armorial was sold at Christie's London, 7 November 2006, lot 277.
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