An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 522Y
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period
Sold for US$ 1,040,075 inc. premium

Chinese Works of Art

18 Mar 2019, 10:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4) An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls  Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (4)
An exceptionally rare pair of Imperial famille rose 'quails and chrysanthemums' bowls
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period
Each finely potted with a hemispherical body supported on a short tapered foot ring, the exterior superbly enameled with a pair of quail with finely articulated feathers, one standing on a stippled, verdant ground, the other on a mossy blue garden rock, in front of blooming chrysanthemum shrubs with tall flowering stems, the large pink blossoms flanking the quail, the other stems extending over the rim into the interior, and bearing further pink, puce and yellow blooms, the foot inscribed in underglaze-blue with the six-character mark within a double-circle, wood stands.
3 3/4in (9.5cm) diam. (4).

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 御製粉彩安居樂業圖盌一對 《大清雍正年製》款

    Provenance:
    Virginia Hobart (1876-1958), thence by descent

    The exquisite pair of 'quail' bowls, from the collection of Virginia "Ella" Hobart (1876-1958), and thence by descent, was acquired by Virginia Hobart in the early 20th century, possibly from Yamanaka & Co. Virginia Hobart became an heiress in 1892 when, with her two siblings, she inherited her father's fortune from timber and silver mining. In 1913-1914 Virginia and her husband Charles Baldwin traveled to China and Japan, returning in time to attend the Pan-Pacific exhibition in San Francisco in 1915. In her letter to her son, dated January 29, 1913, she writes with great enthusiasm of meeting the famed dealer Sadajiro Yamanaka in Kyoto and another Chinese porcelain dealer in Tokyo the day before. Following Charles's death in 1936, Virginia sold Claremont mansion in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was built after the style of Versailles, and relocated to San Francisco.

    The exceptionally rare pair of bowls epitomize the very finest Imperial porcelain of the Yongzheng reign renowned for its innovative design, unsurpassed elegance and exquisite artistry. They are particularly rare in two aspects: firstly, in the design incorporating chrysanthemums rather than prunus and nandina, therefore symbolizing Autumn rather than Spring; and in the continuous decoration over the rim and onto the interior, in a technique known as guoqiangzhi rather than retaining a plain undecorated interior.

    The palette of the superbly painted and enamelled bowls can be described as a combination of falangcai and fencai; the former, translating as 'foreign colors', and the latter corresponding to the 'famille rose' pallette. The falangcai enamels are apparent on the present lot in the brown and ochre enamelling of the quail. On the list of newly developed enamels submitted to the Yongzheng emperor by Prince Yi in 1728, black and dark brown enamels were both listed, indicating that the artists in the imperial ateliers already had the required material at their disposal to produce such enamels on porcelain. See a related falangcai 'quail' decorated bowl and a teapot and cover, Yongzheng four-character blue-enamelled marks and period, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by Chen Kuo-Tung, Yu Pei-Chin and Wang Chu-Ping, Porcelain with Painted Enamels of Qing Yongzheng Period (1723-1735), Taipei, 2013, nos. 81 and 88. The falangcai palette and manner of painting was influenced by the Jesuit painters in the court, such as Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), known as Lang Shining; see for example the treatment and coloring of the feathers of a sparrow in the painting titled 'Chrysanthemums' in the album Immortal Blossoms in an Everlasting Spring, which is considered to be a masterpiece dating to the Yongzheng reign, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; see Portrayals from a Brush Divine: A Special Exhibition of the Tricentennial of Giuseppe Castiglione's Arrival in China, Taipei, 2015, no. II-01 and fig. 16. Compare also the speckled ground on the bowls and that which can be seen in a detail of Castiglione's painting of flowers of the four seasons painted on a chess board, also showing the combination of red and yellow chrysanthemum blossoms, illustrated ibid., no. I-11.

    Quail designs appear in the Yongzheng period on several bowls and dishes, examples of which are extant in important museum collections.

    A rare design of quail and flowers amidst rockwork, with very similar style of 'pearl'-grass ground enamelling, the decoration continuing over the rim in guoqiangzhi style and with similar treatment of the iron red enamels on the lower body of each quail and style of feathers, was enamelled during the Yongzheng period on an earlier Hongzhi mark and period bowl, in the Art Institute of Chicago (no.rx17560/117). Arguably, the Chicago 'quail' bowl is possibly the earliest example of quail-decorated pieces by the Imperial Workshops. This possibility is further substantiated by the example of another Ming porcelain dish dated to the Yongle period which was later enamelled by the Imperial Workshops in the falangcai palette during the Kangxi reign and bears a Kangxi Yuzhi mark, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Enamelled Porcelains of the Imperial Ateliers, Taipei, 1992, no.1. The very close similarly of the 'pearl'-grass ground decoration on the present bowl, would therefore indicate a near date of production, and most probably earlier than the Baur Foundation example, which differs in the type of stippled-grass ground.

    A famille rose bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark within a double circle and of the period, similarly decorated on the exterior with quail design but with prunus and nandina (symbolizing spring), with the interior undecorated, is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection, vol.2, Geneva, 1999, p. 114, no. 227 (A598); another such bowl, previously from the Mount Trust and the Meiyintang collections, was exhibited by the Oriental Ceramics Society in the Arts of the Ch'ing Dynasty, London, 1964, no.209, and was later sold with Poly Beijing on 18 December 2017, lot 5030; a further bowl from the P. Lunden collection is published by J.P. van Goidsenhoven, La Ceramique Chinoise, Brussels, 1954, pl. XCII; a fourth bowl was included by Yamanaka & Co. in their catalog Grand Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Corean Works of Art, Osaka, 1934, no. 350; and see also another such bowl illustrated in Handbook of the Mr and Mrs John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, New York, 1981, pl.82; another bowl from the Alfred and Ivy Clark collection was exhibited in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition catalog Enamelled Manchu Polychrome, 1951, no.176, and was later sold at Sotheby's, London, 25 March 1975, lot 138. See also a related Yongzheng bowl, enameled with quail on a riverbank, but with a pheasant on a rock and a poetic inscription, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Enamelled Porcelains of the Imperial Ateliers, Taipei, 1992, pp. 74-75, no. 26.

    For related quail, prunus and nandina decorated dishes, Yongzheng six-character mark within a double square and of the period, see one from the Avery Brundage collection at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by H. Moss, By Imperial Command, Hong Kong, 1976, pl. 61. See also a pair of dishes from the Barbara Hutton collection, illustrated by R.P.Griffing Jr., Catalogue, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1956-1957, pl.XXIV, which was offered by Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2005.

    Much admired in China for their courage and fighting spirit, pairs of quail, shuang an, are a homophone for 'peace and prosperity'. Chrysanthemums ju, are among the earliest cultivated flowers in China. Blooming in the colder months, they symbolize fortitude as well as longevity, due to the belief in their medicinal properties said to extend one's life and are also associated with the autumn season. Combined with pairs of quail, chrysanthemums convey the doubly-propitious wish of 'May you live in peace'. The fallen leaf on the pearl-ground is known as luo ye which in Chinese is a pun for le ye meaning 'work in contentment'. The decorative combination therefore forms the phrase An ju le ye which may be interpreted as meaning 'May you live in peace and work in contentment'. This pun is shared by both the present Hobart bowls and the Chicago bowl, as one of the quails in the Chicago bowl is enamelled holding a leaf in its beak, further reinforcing the proximity in date of production. Furthermore, drawing its inspiration from earlier periods, quail and chrysanthemums were a popular theme within the much celebrated 'bird-and-flower' painting genre of the Song dynasty; see for example the painting attributed to Li Anzhong (active 1119-1162), titled Ye ju qiu chun (Wild Chrysanthemums and Autumn Quail), in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by He Chuanxin, Dynastic Renaissance: Art and Culture of the Southern Song – Painting and Calligraphy, Taipei, 2010, p. 235, no. II-30. This genre was revived by the Yongzheng emperor and represented on Imperial porcelain under the direction of Tang Ying (1682-1756), the celebrated superintendent of the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen.

    The elegant rendering of blossoming chrysanthemums, depicted in various stages of bloom on the present bowls, were very likely inspired by the celebrated paintings of Yun Shouping (1633-1690) and his unique manner of combining bold colors and washes to emphasize the distinct beauty of flowers; see for example Shan shui hua hui ce (Album of Mountains, Waters, Flowers and Grasses), in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated by Lu Chenglong, 'Yongzheng yuyao ciqi gaishu (A Brief Account of Yongzheng Period Imperial Porcelain)', in Gugong bowuyuan bashi huadan gu taoci guoji xueshu yantaohui lunwen ji, Beijing, 2007, p. 212, fig. 26.

    Similarly, the juxtaposition of light and dark hues decorating the chrysanthemum petals and the great realism devoted to outlining the veins of their leaves on the porcelain medium evoked a similar layering and rich volumetric effects as noted on the illustrious painting style of Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766); see Xian E Chang Chun Tu (Everlasting Verdure of the Immortal Calyx: An Album of Flower Studies), illustrated by Xiangping Li, 'Flower and Bird Painting in Ancient China', Singapore, 2007, p. 106. Compare also two famille rose dishes, Yongzheng marks and of the period, exhibiting a comparable treatment of blossoming chrysanthemums as seen on the present bowls, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, nos. 58 and 59. See also a related famille rose 'chrysanthemum' dish, Yongzheng mark and period, which was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, November 30 2016, lot 3219.

    The blossoming chrysanthemum branches extend over the rim of each of the bowls continuing well into their interior. This technique, known as guoqiangzhi (branch passing over the wall), a homophone of the phrase 'Eternal Governance', appears to have first developed towards the end of the Ming dynasty and won Imperial favor at the court of the Qing emperors. A surviving record from the workshops of the Imperial Household Department, the Zaobanchu, relates to the Yongzheng emperor's interest in the 'long branch' design, mentioning that 'On the 19th day, 4th month, Yongzheng 9th year... His Majesty ordered glazed and unglazed porcelain decorated with the enameled design of the Everlasting Tranquility and Eternal Governance (...)'. The ingenious design – distinctive on the present pair of bowls and absent on the above mentioned examples of bowls decorated with quails and nandina – was challenging to accomplish. This was due to the convex surface of bowls and restricted working space, which would have required highly accomplished skills of a master craftsman. Impeccably executed on the present bowls this design allows for each side of the vessel to be viewed as a complete design in its own right.

    此對清雍正御製粉彩「安居樂業」圖碗為埃拉·弗吉尼亞·霍伯特(1876-1958)舊藏,最初可能來自山中商會,後由其家族後人繼承。弗吉尼亞是霍伯特家族重要繼承人之一,她的父親曾從事林業及金銀礦業。1892年,她和其他兩個兄妹繼承了父親大量遺產。1913至1914年間,弗吉尼亞與其丈夫查爾斯跨越太平洋奔赴至中國及日本遠遊,後於1915年返回舊金山參加泛太平洋博覽會。弗吉尼亞在一封1913年1月29日寫給兒子的書信中,特別描述了自己在京都與山中商會創始人山中定次郎見面的經歷。1936年弗吉尼亞的丈夫逝世後,她賣掉科羅拉多州的居所,移居舊金山。

    此對御製碗器形唯美、胎質細膩、圖案疏朗,為雍正朝御用瓷中不可多得的精美之作。而其罕有程度更可體現在兩個方面:其一,紋飾與常見冬去春來之南天竺和梅花不同,而以秋菊落葉為主題,加以一對鵪鶉,象徵「安居樂業」或「平安長壽」;其二,在繪畫上採用「過墻枝」技法,將菊花枝幹從碗外壁連續繪畫,延續至內壁及碗心,技藝高超,在同類品中非常少見。

    該對碗壁上所用繪圖之釉彩可認為是琺瑯彩和粉彩的結合。琺瑯彩,亦稱之為「洋彩」,在該對碗上的運用主要體現在描繪鵪鶉的棕色和赭石色。據怡親王1728年呈送給雍正帝的記載顯示,當時的釉色已包括黑色與深棕色,由此可知御窯燒造處已具備繪製鵪鶉所需的釉色顏料。相關作品可參考台北故宮博物院所藏琺瑯彩瓷節節報喜把壺,見余佩瑾主編《金成旭映 : 清雍正琺瑯彩瓷》,台北,2013年,圗錄編號81、82。清代時期琺瑯彩顏色的運用及繪製特點受到當時在朝廷服務的傳教士影響,如畫家郎士寧所繪的冊頁《畫仙萼長春》,其中「菊花」一頁上表現雀鳥羽毛的用色方法可與本對「安居樂業」圖碗相較之,見《神筆丹青:郎士寧來華三百年特展》,台北,2015年,圗錄編號II-01之16圗。另外,在碗外壁前景處用點的筆觸表現草葉的繪畫技法,也可在郎士寧的花鳥畫作品中找到,見其作品《四季花卉棋盤》,亦出版於《神筆丹青:郎士寧來華三百年特展》,圗錄編號I-11。

    相比同類雍正朝以鵪鶉為主題繪畫的御用瓷,公私收藏中都有所見。如芝加哥藝術博物館,藏有一例雍正時期,在洪治年間燒造的胎碗上加繪鵪鶉花卉的碗(no.rx17560/117)。該碗同樣採用了「過牆枝」技法,在裝飾鵪鶉腹部和羽毛的釉色里和本次拍品飾有類似的磐紅釉,同時在描繪前景也可見落點為草石的筆觸畫法。芝加哥藝術博物館所藏之碗很有可能是現存最早的以鵪鶉為主題的御製瓷碗。台北故宮博物院另藏有一康熙時期在明永樂年間燒造的瓷胎盤上加彩而成的作品,見《清宮中琺瑯彩瓷特展》,台北,1992年,圗錄號1。

    日內瓦鮑爾基金會收藏一例,同樣繪有類似鵪鶉主題的構圖,配飾為象徵春天的梅花和南天竺,底足雙圈內落青花「大清雍正年製」六字款,見《Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection》,第2冊,日內瓦,1999年,頁114, 圗錄編號 227 (A598),玫筃堂舊藏一例(後售於北京保利,2017年12月18日,拍品5030),另見P. Lunden珍藏一例,出版於《La Ceramique Chinoise》,布魯塞爾,1954年,圖版XCII,山中商會曾經手一例,見 《Grand Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Corean Works of Art》,大阪,1934年,圖錄號350,紐約洛克斐勒亦有收藏一例,見《Mr and Mrs John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection》,紐約,1981年,圖版82,另有Alfred 和 Ivy Clark收藏一例,曾在東方陶瓷學會展出並注錄於《Enamelled Manchu Polychrome》, 1951年, 圗錄號176,後售於蘇富比倫敦1975年3月25日,拍品138,另在台北故宮博物院收藏有雍正時期製作,繪有鵪鶉、錦雞和詩歌的一例,見《清宮中琺瑯彩瓷特展》,台北,1992年,頁74-75,圗錄號26。

    相關的雍正六字雙線方款「平安春信」碟,在舊金山亞洲藝術博物館有一例,為Avery Brundage舊藏,出版於《Imperial Command》,香港, 1976年,圗版 61。香港佳士得曾於2005年11月28日拍出一對Barbara Hutton舊藏「平安春信」碟,見R. P. Griffing Jr., Catalogue, 檀香山藝術學院, 1956-1957,圗版 XXIV。

    鵪鶉在中國傳統文化中有「平安」之象徵,而菊花有「長壽」之意,同時「菊」音同「居」,與前者合一,意在表達「安居」之主題,而地上亦刻意繪畫落葉,寓意「樂業」,因此有「安居樂業」之美好寓意。芝加哥藝術博物館藏之例,其中一只鵪鶉銜有一片落葉,與霍伯特的收藏表達了同樣的寓意,由此可推斷它們的製作時間應較為接近。台北故宮博物院藏有一件宋代李安忠繪《野菊秋鵪圖》,見《紹興文藝──南宋藝術與文化特展》,台北,2010年,頁235,圗錄II-30,很可能是「安居樂業」圖的原型。至雍正朝時期,景德鎮御窯燒造處在唐英(1682-1756)的督導下,常見以「安居」為主題之作品,可見該題材在清代瓷器繪飾之流行。

    再觀碗上所繪之菊花,或含苞待放,或已婷婷綻放,色彩婉轉柔和。該裝飾風格極有可能受到惲壽平(1633-1690)沒骨繪畫風格的影響,相關作品可參考北京故宫博物院藏《山水花卉冊》,出版於《故宮博物院八十華誕古陶瓷國際學術研討會論文集》書中呂成龍撰「雍正御窯瓷器概述」一文之插圖,北京,2007年,頁212,圗26。

    細觀此對碗之紋飾用彩,以突破傳統的粉彩與琺瑯彩相結合方式繪就,其鵪鶉以赭墨彩描繪,用彩風格與台北故宮博物院藏清雍正琺瑯彩「平安春信」圖碗相近,同時又以粉彩繪過墻枝秋菊,避免了琺瑯彩太過鮮豔而影響菊花花瓣色階漸變的淡雅質感,最大程度迎合了雍正帝對優雅清新的藝術審美。觀其畫風,細膩寫實,亦或是受西洋宮廷畫師如郎世寧(1688-1766)的影響,可參照台北故宮博物院藏郎世寧作品《仙萼長春圖》。其他雍正時期繪有菊花的類似作品,可參見《The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration》, 香港, 1999年, 圖錄編號 58 和 59,另見香港佳士得所拍雍正菊花碟 ,2016年11月30日,拍品3219。

    該對碗更值得注意的是,裝飾在碗外壁的菊花枝葉向上生長,至碗沿處則自然延伸到碗內壁,這種獨特的技法被稱為「過墻枝」,取其寓意「長治」,最早在明代晚期的瓷器作品上可見,後得到清代帝王青睞。據清宮內府造辦處記載:「雍正九年四月十九日,上逾著將有釉無釉白磁器賞畫上久安長治......」,見馮先銘,《中國古陶瓷文獻集釋》,台北,2000年,頁222。就目前所見以鵪鶉為主題的作品,大部分紋飾為「平安春信」圖,且碗內壁均無繪飾,而霍伯特舊藏的這對碗完美地呈現了鵪鶉與秋菊的組合,其獨特的「安居樂業」紋飾目前未見有他例。
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $3,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $3,000 up to and including $400,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $4,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Y CITES

Prospective buyers of lots denoted with a "Y" symbol should pay special attention to the "Notice Regarding Regulated Species Materials and CITES Permits" published in the printed catalog, which has recently been updated.
This information is also available by contacting the salesroom.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services & Bids (Los Angeles)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 323 850 7500
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 6090
  2. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  3. Customer Services & Bids (San Francisco)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
  4. Chinese Art (US)
    General enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 503 3358
    FaxFax: +1 415 503 3300
  5. Bruce Maclaren
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1677
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  6. Harold Yeo
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1628
  7. Ming Hua
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 646 837 8132
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007
Similar Items