A fine and rare doucai 'dragon' saucer-dish Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period (2)

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Lot 72
A fine and rare doucai 'dragon' saucer-dish
Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period

Sold for HK$ 437,500 (US$ 56,026) inc. premium
A fine and rare doucai 'dragon' saucer-dish
Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period
Finely potted, the well vividly painted in the interior delicate underglaze blue and colourfully enamelled in yellow, green, iron-red and pink with a writhing five-clawed dragon chasing a flaming pearl amidst fire and lingzhi-shaped cloud scrolls, the cavetto with lingzhi-shaped cloud scrolls at each point of the double-axis, the undersides decorated with crashing waves crested with foam beneath cloud scrolls, all bordered by fine double-lines painted in underglaze blue, box. 11.7cm (4 1/2in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 鬥彩雲龍紋盤
    青花「大清雍正年製」楷書款

    The Yongzheng emperor was known for his micromanagement style of governing. Indeed, he personally influenced the artistic direction of Imperial kiln porcelain, creating unique styles of porcelain that reflected his taste and aesthetic standards. This can be seen on the present lot with the multi-coloured wispy lingzhi-shaped five-coloured clouds, 'wuse yun' (五色雲) or 'qing yun' (慶雲), depicted surrounding the dragon on the present lot.

    The motif can be further interpreted as a pun on the word 'cloud', yun (雲), which is a homophone for fuyun (福運), 'good fortune'. In an agricultural society, the rain-bearing clouds would have been perceived as a benevolent omen, for the necessary irrigation of the crops.

    The Yongzheng emperor seemed to have had a particular fondness for the physical as well as symbolic appearance of qing yun between the 7th and the 10th year of his reign, corresponding to 1729–1732. Scenes of auspicious five-coloured clouds appearing above the sky were recorded several times in the Palace memorials presented to the emperor. The Imperial archives also recorded that paintings depicting such particular type of clouds were ordered by the Yongzheng emperor in 1730; see Lin Lina, 'Auspicious symbols and scenes of the Yongzheng period', in Feng Mingzhu, Harmony and Integrity: The Yongzheng Emperor and His Times, Taipei, 2009, pp.374–399.

    The Yongzheng emperor's fondness for this decoration is evident in the number of extant Imperial works of art, similarly decorated with multi-coloured clouds, including the carved wooden plaque inlaid with painted enamel wispy clouds and the inscription reading 'Heed Rashness and Use Perseverance'; a painted enamel snuff bottle, Yongzheng mark and period; a painted enamel tiered box and cover, Yongzheng mark and period; and a stand with a hanging fish pendant, depicted in 'Yinzhen's [Yongzheng's] Amusements: Copying a Sutra in a Studio', illustrated in the National Palace Museum, Taipei exhibition catalogue by Feng Mingzhu, ibid., pp.20, 116-117, 258 and 269. See also a doucai bottle vase, Yongzheng mark and period, similarly decorated with cloud scrolls, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 April 2010, lot 1862.

    The above examples illustrate the emperor's use of this highly particular stylised motif with which he personally identified and for decorating objects for his personal use. The present lot combines this auspicious symbol with the Imperial five-clawed dragon, symbolising the emperor.

    This design in doucai was made in a variety of sizes. See a larger example in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, included in the exhibition Wonders of the Potter's Palette, Hong Kong, 1984, no.45; Another example is illustrated in Anthology of Chinese art : Min Chiu Society Silver Jubilee Exhibition, Hong Kong, 1985, p.382, no.175; Compare a similarly decorated pair of doucai dishes of the same size to the present lot, Yongzheng marks and period, which were sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 30 April 1991, lot 120A, illustrated in Sotheby's Hong Kong: Twenty Years, Hong Kong, no.271.

    盤敞口,斜弧腹,矮圈足。內外壁以鬥彩飾雲龍戲珠紋,內壁繪四朵十字杵靈芝雲紋,外壁繪雲紋及海水波浪紋。胎質細膩,釉面光潤。盤底青花「大清雍正年製」楷書款。

    陰陽五色、姿彩各異的雲氣稱為「五色祥雲」,又名「慶雲」,在雍正年間官員呈報之奏摺以及皇帝之批覆中多有提及。而雍正帝將此天文異像視為瑞祥之徵兆,代表孝德豐稔之瑞應。如雍正六年十月二十九日,三省總督額爾泰及雲南總兵官張應宗呈報五華山五色慶雲疊現:「文武官員等,在五華山朝賀,畢。坐班至辰刻,共覩五色慶雲,光燦捧日。......齊祝萬壽無疆」雍正閱後批覆:「況此嘉祥,實係卿忠誠所感,而獻於朕壽日者,正表卿愛戴之心也。」有關雍正年間之祥瑞符應更多的討論,可見林莉娜,「雍正朝之祥瑞符應」,於《雍正:清世宗文物大展》,台北,2009年,頁374-399。

    雍正帝對五彩祥雲紋的喜愛還表現在其他宮廷藝術品上,現大多藏於台北國立故宮博物院:如一件清雍正木雕嵌琺瑯片「戒急用忍」掛屏,表面刻滿祥雲紋,並嵌以畫琺瑯雲紋片;一件清雍正銅胎畫琺瑯黑地五彩流雲玉兔秋香鼻煙壺;一件清雍正銅胎畫琺瑯黑地五彩雲紋穿帶盒;另見北京故宮藏「胤禎行樂圖之書齋寫經圖」中所繪一件黑漆螺鈿玉魚吊架,亦有類似的五彩祥雲紋,見《雍正:清世宗文物大展》,台北,2009年,頁20,116-117,258及269。另見香港蘇富比售出一件清雍正鬥彩祥雲紋瓶,2010年4月8日,編號1862。

    與本類似之雍正鬥彩雲龍紋盤,香港藝術館藏尺寸稍大一例,著錄於《清瓷薈錦:香港藝術館清代陶瓷》,香港,1984年,編號45;另見敏求精舍所藏,錄於《中國文物集珍:敏求精舍銀禧紀念展覽》,香港,1985年,頁382,圖175。尺寸與本盤相當者,見蘇富比曾售出一例,1991年4月30日,拍品120A(直徑11.4厘米),著錄於《蘇富比香港二十周年》,香港,1993年,頁199,圖271。
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A fine and rare doucai 'dragon' saucer-dish Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period (2)
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