An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period

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Lot 22
An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase
Yongzheng seal mark and of the period

Sold for HK$ 17,320,000 (US$ 2,212,889) inc. premium
An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase
Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
Elegantly potted with a gently rounded body, tapering towards a slightly spreading foot flanked by two apertures, rising to the neck applied with a pair of short tubular handles, covered with a delicate pale green glaze.
42.5cm (16 3/4) high

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 青釉橄欖式貫耳穿帶瓶 青花「大清雍正年製」篆書款

    Provenance 來源:
    A British private collection; acquired by the grandfather of the present owner, and thence by descent

    英國私人收藏,由現藏家祖父獲得並由其家族繼承

    The present vase is an outstanding example of the innovation and remarkable technical perfection achieved by craftsmen working at the imperial kilns in Jingdezen during the Yongzheng period.

    It is exceptionally rare to find monochrome vases of olive-stone form decorated with a celadon glaze. It is even rarer for such form to be accompanied by tubular-handles flanking the neck, enhancing its elegant proportions. The large size of the vase is noteworthy, further emphasising the remarkable form, and making this vase a particularly challenging technical feat. The successful firing of the graceful tall shape combined with the jade-like luminous tone of the celadon glaze, makes this vase truly astounding to behold.

    The particular combination of short tubular handles on this vase form is recorded as a Yongzheng period innovation by Geng Baochang, see Ming qing ciqi jianding, Hong Kong, 1993, p.234, fig.10. Culture and art during the Yongzheng emperor's rule featured tradition and innovation, inheriting from the past and setting the stage for the future. The refined quality, as well exemplified in the present vase, demonstrates the Yongzheng emperor's imperial taste and artistic style. This is manifested in the graceful form, combined with archaistic elements such as the tubular-handles and apertures at the foot, which may be seen on Western Zhou dynasty bronzes and Song dynasty vases, or the jade-like quality of the glaze, reminiscent of the finest Longquan wares of the Northern Song dynasty.

    See for example the slender bronze hu vase, Western Zhou period, illustrated in Zhongguo Wenwu Jinghua Dacidian: Qingtong juan, Shanghai, 1995, p.134, no.464. See also the tubular handles and green glaze on a Longquan vase, Song dynasty, and the apertures on the foot of a guan bow-string vase, Southern Song dynasty, both from the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 2001, pls.1 and 102.

    The body of the current vase is however, more comparable to the classic olive or ganlan shape, where it is much more slender and gracefully tapered to the foot with a flared mouth rim. This vase form was admired in the preceding Kangxi emperor's reign, and continued to be appreciated by the Yongzheng emperor. However, in contrast to the earlier reign's olive-shaped vase, those produced during the Yongzheng period tend to have wider and shorter necks, such as seen on the current lot. A very high level of skill by a master potter would have been required to achieve a successful balanced form, more so with a vase of this tall proportion.

    As an eminent and highly discerning connoisseur of art, the Yongzheng emperor demanded the highest level of craftsmanship of all elements of porcelain production. The remarkable even quality of the vase's subtle glaze, a perfection of the delicate, almost watery-toned celadon monochrome porcelains of the Kangxi period, attests to this.

    Compare a Yongzheng mark and period coral-ground famille rose vase of similar shape from the Qing Court collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 2009, pl.77. See also another Yongzheng blue and white olive-shaped vase but without handles, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), Hong Kong, 2000, pl.79. Vases of this form continued to be made in the Qianlong period but with a more slender neck and pronounced curve of the body, see a yellow-ground example with green dragons, illustrated in Selected Porcelain of the Flourishing Qing Dynasty at the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1994, pl.85.

    A related guan-type vase, Yongzheng mark and period, but of smaller size (31.8cm high), was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 October 2013, lot 3128.

    瓶直口,削肩,鼓腹,腹部以下漸收,圈足。器身呈橄欖狀,頸部兩側飾貫耳,器足扁有兩長方形管狀孔供穿戴用。瓶身通體施粉青釉,釉面光潤細密,色澤清新淡雅。器底青花書「大清雍正年製」六字三行篆書款。

    單色釉中的橄欖瓶已不多見,然帶貫耳者更為稀世珍品。此瓶器身碩大但不失雅緻細膩,釉色瑩潤如玉,可謂雍正官窯單色釉中稀少珍品。雍正一朝,官窯瓷器燒造多有創新,御窯廠工匠結合前朝器形,燒造出橄欖式貫耳瓶,器有大小,大者胎體厚薄勻稱,器身大多光素,見耿寶昌,《明清瓷器鑑定》,香港,1993年,圖440-10。

    貫耳瓶原型始於青銅彝器壺,1975年陝西扶風莊白家村曾出土一件西周青銅壺,現藏於扶風縣博物館,見《中國文物精華大辭典》,上海,1995年,頁134,圖464。宋人後將此形運用於瓷器之上,燒造出哥釉、官釉、龍泉青釉等佳品。見北京故宮博物院藏一件宋官窯青釉弦紋瓶,圈足亦有穿帶孔;另見一件宋代龍泉窯青釉貫耳大瓶,著錄於《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:兩宋瓷器(下)》,香港,2001年,圖1及102。雍正帝無疑對宮中舊藏的官窯及龍泉窯極為欣賞,並命御窯廠加以仿燒。

    傳世品中的雍正橄欖瓶,見有粉彩、青花及仿官釉者,然而青釉則極為少見,北京故宮博物院藏一件清雍正粉彩珊瑚紅地牡丹紋貫耳瓶可資比較,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:琺瑯彩、粉彩》,香港,2009年,圖77;另見雍正青花橄欖瓶一例,無貫耳,著錄於《故宮博物院藏文物珍品大系:青花釉裏紅(下)》,香港,2000年,圖79。另有仿官釉者,見蘇富比香港曾售出一例,2013年10月8日,編號3128。此中器形乾隆朝亦有燒製,見北京故宮博物院藏黃地綠彩雲龍紋貫耳穿戴瓶一件,著錄於《故宮博物院藏清盛世瓷選粹》,北京,1994年,圖85。

    香港蘇富比曾售出一件清雍正仿官釉橄欖瓶,尺寸稍小(31.8厘米高),無貫耳,2013年10月8日,編號3128。
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An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
An exceptionally rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase Yongzheng seal mark and of the period
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