A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period (2)
Lot 29
A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Sold for HK$ 3,760,000 (US$ 479,644) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period (2) A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period (2) A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period (2) A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase Qianlong seal mark and of the period (2)
A rare blue and white 'three abundances' garlic-mouth vase
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Elegantly potted with a pear-shaped body above a splayed foot, rising to a slender neck and a bulbous garlic-shaped mouth, painted in rich cobalt blue tones with 'heaped and piled' effects depicting fruiting and flowering sprays of the Three Abundances, sanduo, below bands of downward ruyi-heads, key-fret scrolls and stylised lotus lappets on the neck and a band of crested waves on the foot, all below a continuous frieze of meandering floral scrolls at the mouth rim, the base with a six-character zhuanshu seal mark, box.
28.2cm (11 1/8in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 青花花果紋蒜頭瓶 青花「大清乾隆年製」篆書款

    Provenance 來源:
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20 May 1987, lot 463
    A European private collection

    香港蘇富比,1987年5月20日,拍品463
    歐洲私人舊藏

    The present vase belongs to a group of 18th century wares that imitate the decorative styles of Ming dynasty ceramics. The boldly painted elegant designs of fruit and flower sprays around the body are inspired by meiping vases from the Yongle and Xuande reigns. These early Ming vases depict alternating leafy fruit and flower sprays in two higher and lower registers. The Palace Museum, Beijing, includes both a Yongle and Xuande period example, each with various fruit sprays around the body, illustrated by Geng Baochang, Gugong Bowuyuan cang: Ming chu qinghua ci, Beijing, 2002, nos.15 and 76. The 18th century demand for Ming-style wares as the present lot, reflected the reverence and importance which the Qianlong emperor held for antiquity. By sinicizing himself through aligning with the culture and art of the bygone era of early Ming Chinese rule, the Manchu emperor also legitimised his own.

    This vase not only demonstrates the importance placed on antiquity, but also provides a wealth of auspicious wishes and blessings. The Three Abundances, which include finger citron, foshou 佛手, peach, tao 桃 and pomegranate, shiliu 石榴, form the auspicious pun fushou sanduo 福壽三多, which literally translates as 'May you be granted the three abundances of blessings, long life and sons'. When depicted together with ruyi symbols, such as on the current lot, the Three Abundances, sanduo 三多, and the wish granting sceptre heads ruyi 如意, form an added auspicious blessing of 'May you also be blessed with the Nine Similitudes', sanduo jiuru 三多九如. The Nine Similitudes are a felicitous wish mentioned in the Book of Odes, which is the earliest compilation of Chinese poetry dating to the Western Zhou dynasty. The wish may be literally translated as follows:

    'May you be as the mountains and the hills, as the greater and the lesser heights, as the streams which flow in all directions, having constancy of the moon, like the rising sun, with the longevity of the Southern Mountain and the green luxuriance of the pine and cypress tress'.

    See a very similar vase illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum. Blue and White Ware of the Ch'ing Dynasty. Book II, Hong Kong, 1968, pp.30-31, pl.5; another example is illustrated in Imperial Porcelain from the Shanghai Museum, Zwolle, 2011, pp.80-81, no.52; compare also another similar example from the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in Treasures in the Royalty. The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, pp.210-211.

    For other similar examples in important private collections, see Chinese Porcelain. The S.C.Ko Tianminlou Collection. Part II, Hong Kong, 1987, pp.88-89, no.61; and Imperial Perfection. The Palace Porcelain of Three Chinese Emperors. A Selection from the Wang Xing Lou Collection, Hong Kong, 2004, pp.60-61, no.16.

    在十八世紀,清代宮廷常模仿明代製品,本青花器便是一例。瓶腹所繪佛手、桃及石榴花果折枝,紋飾靈感來自於明永樂及宣德青花花果折枝紋梅瓶上,體現了乾隆帝慕古好雅的情懷,也逐漸具體化滿族漢化的概念。有關明代的青花例子,請參考耿寶昌著,《故宮博物館藏:明初青花瓷》,北京,2002年,編號15及76。

    此瓶富有吉祥的蘊意,瓶身所飾佛手、桃和石榴紋飾的組合稱為「三多圖」,取諧音「福壽三多」,寓意多子、多福、多壽。當「三多圖」與九只如意結合在一起,寓意「三多九如」。「九如」出自《詩經·小雅·天保》,該詩中連用了九個「如」字:「九如為如山,如阜,如陵,如崗,如川之方至,如月之恆,如日之升,如松柏之茂,如南山之壽」,因每句都有「如」字,故稱「九如」,祝頌福壽綿長。

    國立故宮博物院藏一件非常相似的例子,參考《故宮藏瓷:清青花瓷二》,香港,1968年,頁30至31,圖版5;另一例子藏於上海博物館,查閱《Imperial Porcelain from the Shanghai Museum》,茲沃勒,2011年,頁80至81,編號52;再參考南京博物院藏一例,著錄於《中國清代官窯瓷器》,上海,2003年,頁210至211。

    其他相似例子可參考私人收藏藏品,包括天民樓和望星樓,見《天民樓藏瓷:下冊》,香港,1987年,頁88至89,編號61;和《清代康雍乾官窯瓷器:望星樓藏瓷》,香港,2004年,頁60-61,編號16。
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