A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun Qianlong seal mark and of the period

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Lot 21
A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun
Qianlong seal mark and of the period

Sold for HK$ 4,240,000 (US$ 545,307) inc. premium
A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun
Qianlong seal mark and of the period
Well potted in baluster form with steep sides and high shoulder rising to a broad waisted neck surmounted by a thick lipped rim, the neck set with a pair of archaistic chi dragons forming 'C'-shaped handles, covered overall with a rich and thick greyish glaze suffused with a network of dark grey craquelure and finer golden crackles, the base with a six-character zhuanshu seal mark in underglaze-blue.
22.8cm (9in) high

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 御製仿哥釉螭耳尊 青花「大清乾隆年製」篆書款

    Provenance 來源:
    Sotheby's London, 10 June 1986, lot 291
    Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20 May 1987, lot 519
    S.Marchant and Son Ltd., London
    A European private collection

    倫敦蘇富比,1986年6月10日,拍品291
    香港蘇富比,1987年5月20日,拍品519
    倫敦古董商S.Marchant and Son Ltd.
    歐洲私人收藏

    The present vase may be the pair to a Ge-type vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, of identical height at 22.8cm high, from the Meiyintang collection, illustrated by R.Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol.II, London, 1994, pp.218-219, no.887.

    The vase was inspired in form and in its glaze by antiquity, in accordance with the Qianlong emperor's wish to 'restore ancient ways', calling on craftsman to draw inspiration from archaic examples, enabling them to imbue their designs with simplicity and honesty, achieving refinement and elegance. The 'ancient ways' referred to the intrinsic values of sincerity, simplicity, and happy exuberance. The form is a contemporary innovation of the Han dynasty bronze hu shape, whilst the glaze is a direct reference to the celebrated Southern Song dynasty Ge glaze.

    The first reference to Ge yao in surviving literature appears to be in the 1428 publication Manual of Xuande Ritual Vessels (Xuande ding yi pu). Such wares appear to have been produced continuously from the Southern Song dynasty to the 15th century, with the prized glaze reproduced once more from the early 18th century.

    It is recorded that on the 13th year of the Yongzheng reign, corresponding to 1735, Tang Ying, on the eve of leaving Jingdezhen to take on his newly appointed role as the Superintendent of the Huai'an Custom Office, composed the famous document Taocheng jishi bei ji or 'Commemorative Stele on Ceramic Production', on the management and productions of the Imperial Factory in Jingdezhen. The document lists nearly forty types of monochrome glazes, including the Ge glaze. This glaze was described as '...with iron body, including millet colour and pale green, copied from ancient pieces sent from the Imperial Palace'; see Peter Y.K.Lam, Shimmering Colours. Monochromes of the Yuan to Qing Periods. The Zhuyuetang Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, pp.42-44.

    The Qianlong emperor recorded his admiration of the famed Ge glaze by composing a number of poems, including one inscribed on two Ge-type glazed arrow vases, Yuan dynasty, from the Percival David Collection in the British Museum (collection nos.PDF.23 and PDF.94), as follows:

    百圾雖粉撫則平
    處州陶實出難兄
    一般樸質稱珍重
    那誠精工宣與成
    乾隆乙巳御題

    'Despite the pattern of hundreds of intermingling crackle lines, its texture is fine and smooth to the touch.
    This is the work of the talented Elder brother.
    One discovers that the value of these undecorated wares is the same as that of unpolished gems.
    How could one compare this and the more elaborate products of Xuan(de) and Cheng(hua)?
    Each has its own individual charm.
    Composed by the Qianlong emperor in the cyclical year yisi [1785]
    '

    The present vase embodies the Qianlong emperor's esteem of this particular glaze, as reinterpreted by Tang Ying and his master-potters.

    The outline form of the vase is illustrated by Geng Baocang, Ming Qing Ciqi Jianding, Hong Kong, 1993, p.268, pl.457, no.17. A similar Ge-type vase, Qianlong seal mark and of the period, was sold at Christie's London, 4 December 1973, lot 357. See also a related flambé-glazed hu vase, Qianlong incised seal mark and of the period, of similar form but larger size, which was sold at Christie's London on 9 November 2010, lot 218.

    尊撇口,束頸,豐肩,肩部以下腹部內斂,圈足,足底塗有褐色護胎釉,底部飾青花六字篆書款。頸部兩側各作一螭龍形耳,瓶身施天藍色釉,釉質厚潤,釉面有開片,如同「金絲鐵線」一般。整器端莊樸實,古樸典雅,耐人尋味。

    此尊與玫筃堂藏另一件清乾隆仿哥釉螭耳尊均為22.8公分高,尺寸分毫無差,原本或為一對,見康蕊君著,《Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection》,倫敦,1994年,卷II,頁218-219。

    關於哥窯的文獻記載最早可見於明代《宣德鼎彝譜》,到明代永樂、宣德、成化時期已有仿製,清代雍正年間燒造的最為神似。乾隆一朝所燒造的仿宋代五大名窯瓷,基本是雍正朝燒造的延續。但乾隆皇帝似乎更重視哥釉瓷器的仿古,如乾隆十年之《乾隆記事錄》記載:「二月初七日 :旨令唐英按渣鬥木樣燒造哥窯瓷瓶一件,彷舊做不要款,如彷得舊更好。」足見乾隆帝在藝術上慕古好雅之風。

    乾隆時期單色燒製如此精美,與唐英督陶有直接關係,此期間的顏色釉瓷製品,仿古創新,種類繁多,集歷代民窯之大成。雍正十三年冬,唐英所著《陶成紀事碑記》中曾描述御窯廠「仿古採今,歲例貢御之各種釉水、款項五十七種」,其中描述仿哥窯開片釉為「仿鐵骨哥釉:有米色、粉青兩種,俱仿內發舊器色澤」,見林業強,《五色瓊霞:竹月堂藏元明清一道釉瓷器》,香港,2005年,頁42-44。

    乾隆皇帝對宮中所藏哥窯古瓷尤為欣賞,並作御題詩,令造辦處將其鐫刻於各大名窯古瓷之上,例如大衛德基金會藏兩件元代哥窯貫耳瓶,上面均鐫刻有乾隆御題詩,以頌揚哥窯之珍稀。(博物館藏編號PDF.23 and PDF.94)

    與此尊相類之線圖,見耿寶昌,《明清瓷器鑑定》,香港,1993年,頁268,圖版467。倫敦佳士得曾售出一類似乾隆例子,1973年12月4日,拍品357。另參看一件器形相似、但尺寸稍大之清乾隆窯變釉螭耳尊,後售於倫敦佳士得,2010年11月9日,編號218。
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A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun Qianlong seal mark and of the period
A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun Qianlong seal mark and of the period
A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun Qianlong seal mark and of the period
A rare Imperial Ge-type vase, zun Qianlong seal mark and of the period
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