An Imperial cloisonné enamel double-gourd wall vase  Qianlong

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Lot 4
An Imperial cloisonné enamel double-gourd wall vase
Qianlong

Sold for HK$ 1,096,000 (US$ 140,614) inc. premium
An Imperial cloisonné enamel double-gourd wall vase
Qianlong
Cast as a double-gourd vase and stand, the upper and lower lobes finely enamelled with the characters da and ji in gilt, encircled by the Eight Daoist Emblems, anbaxian, and the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang, respectively, tied at the waist with a gilt ribbon, all on a rich turquoise ground embellished with extensive scrolling clouds, surmounted by an Imperial inscription reserved on a bell-shaped gilt ground flanked by a pair of confronting stylised dragons at the top.
55cm (21 5/8in) high

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 御製銅胎掐絲琺瑯「大吉」開光詩句葫蘆式壁瓶

    The inscription is part of an Imperial poem included in the category of belles-lettres (jibu 集部) in The Complete Library of the Four Treasures (Siku Quanshu 四庫全書) which was completed during the Qianlong reign in 1782. The couplet reads:

    御製
    瑞日祥雲兆歲美
    和風甘雨卜農慶

    which may be translated as:

    'Imperially made.
    Auspicious days and clouds bring years of goodness;
    Gentle wind and sweet rain bring celebration to the farmers.'

    The present lot exemplifies cloisonné enamel production specially commissioned for the Imperial court during the Qianlong period demonstrated in its colourful opulence, technical virtuosity combining enamelling, casting and chasing, and displaying an Imperially composed poem concerned with the well-being of the people and imbued with auspicious portents.

    The shape of a double-gourd was particularly favoured for its auspicious association with fertility and longevity. Since the bottle gourd contains numerous seeds, it could be used to symbolise a lineage with many descendants. Double-gourd-shaped decorative objects and vessels made for the Qing court often bear the characters daji, heralding the coming of 'great fortune'. The auspicious symbolism in the present lot is doubly reinforced by the Eight Daoist Emblems, anbaxian decorating the upper gourd, which are closely related to longevity; and the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang on the lower gourd, which in addition to the Buddhist symbolism, are also believed to bring peace and blessings. The Qing court adhered to both beliefs, so aptly combined in the present lot.

    See a related double-gourd cloisonné enamel wall vase enclosing an Imperial inscription and the daji characters, Qianlong, illustrated in the Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum: Enamels 2, Cloisonné in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Beijing, 2011, pl.190. Related double-gourd shaped daji wall vases, plaques or vessels were produced in a wide variety of materials including porcelain, jade, lacquer, rock crystal, clocks, painted enamel, and zitan.

    Compare with a pair of similar cloisonné enamel plaques but in slightly smaller sizes, Qianlong, which was sold in our London rooms, 11 July 2005, lot 65.

    壁瓶為葫蘆形,上下兩個橢圓形,前面為半瓶,背面為平面。葫蘆正面通體掐絲作雲紋,施淺藍色琺瑯釉為地,葫蘆邊緣飾寶藍色邊,上、下腹部中心分別以鎏金楷書「大」、「吉」二字,「大」字四周以寶藍、黃、紅、白、綠色琺瑯釉飾暗八仙圖案,「吉」字周圍飾八吉祥紋飾,葫蘆上部為一處鈴形鎏金開光,上承一對鎏金龍紋,開光刻雲紋地內製黑色「御製」二字,其下為黑色詩文:「瑞日祥雲兆歲美,和風甘雨卜農慶」,葫蘆腰間繫有金色飄帶,底部為仿製的金色底座。壁瓶上部所書詩句著錄在乾隆四十七年成書的《四庫全書》集部《御製詩三集》裏。本器掐絲細膩,琺瑯彩豐富絢麗,鎏金燦爛,金碧輝煌,從其工藝精湛程度看,充分展現出乾隆時期掐絲琺瑯工藝的輝煌成就,顯而易見為乾隆宮廷裏御用陳設藝術品。

    本器上所飾紋飾代表了各種吉祥寓意。首先以造型來看,由於葫蘆多子,寓意子孫繁衍昌盛,因此「大吉」葫蘆更代表了人們對和諧生活的美好寄託與希望,也蘊含繁榮昌盛國泰民安的意思。「大」字四周所飾之暗八仙圖案分別為道教八仙所持的八種法器,包括魚鼓、寶劍、花籃、笊籬、葫蘆、扇子、陰陽板和橫笛,用其代表八仙人物,既有吉祥如意的寄寓,也代表萬能的法術;而「吉」字旁所飾的為佛教八吉祥圖案,分別為包括法螺、蓮花、寶瓶、雙魚、寶傘、法輪、白蓋和盤腸,同樣寓意吉祥。乾隆皇帝對儒、道、佛三家文化採取了三教融合的對待,堅持了三教平等的政策,因此能看到道教與佛教紋飾同時出現本拍品上。

    這類「大吉」壁瓶也見於其他材料如漆器、瓷器等。類似的御製掐絲琺瑯「大吉」葫蘆式壁瓶並不多見,倫敦邦瀚斯曾售出一對相近例子可資參考,除了御題詩句不同以外,所飾紋飾基本大同小異,見2005年7月11日,編號65。另對比北京故宮博物院藏一件清乾隆掐絲琺瑯雲蝠紋開光詩句葫蘆式壁瓶,見《故宮博物院藏品大系:琺瑯器編2·清掐絲琺瑯》,北京,2011年,圖版190。
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An Imperial cloisonné enamel double-gourd wall vase  Qianlong
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