Objects "Antique Chinese Porcelain Co."
The globular body of this vase tapers to a narrow foot and has a tall waisted and flared neck - painted with Buddhist emblems and stylised tulips of Dutch inspiration. The scene is of a barefooted youth who tends to a water buffalo, whilst being confronted by a nobleman - to his left are four court attendants, carrying a series of banners and capped lancers. The ground is decorated in the "High Transitional" style with grass being suggested by areas of v-shaped brush strokes. Clouds below a shoulder frieze of chrysanthemum - bisect the overall landscape. The vase has a short partially smoothed knife cut foot rim. Whilst there are a number of stories depicting encounters between noblemen, rustic herders and sages, this is considered to be one of many about Bing Jin, a Prime Minister of Western Han. One day whilst out with his attendants, they came across several men who were brawling by the wayside - however Bing Ji continued his journey without showing concern for the altercation. Later they came across a herdsman with a panting water bufallo. He immediately stopped to ask how long they had been travelling. His attendants were puzzled as to why he was more concerned about an ox than the brawling men. He replied that the fight was a matter for local officials to deal with but an ox panting in early spring - if not travelling for long - suggested unusual heat - which could have disatrous results for the harvest and eventually the whole nation. The theme of water buffalo and the the herdsmen who looked after them was a favourite of the imperial painting academy of the Song dynasty (960-1126) - a tradition that was maintained into later dynasties. Height: 38 cm Chongzhen (1635-44) CONDITION There is a small area of shallow restoration to the flared lip - accompanied by associated overspray. RELATED EXAMPLES For a similar example but with a different scene see "Chinese Blue and White Porcelain" by Duncan Macintosh, Page 176, No 113. Price: £ 12,500 Weight: 2.3 KgRead more
Each plate is decorated with three men and a woman - all in under glaze blue - seated in a boat and below a willow tree. The rim is unusual in that it is painted with the "Three Friends of Winter", pine, bamboo and prunus - the underside with an alternating pattern of mountainous islands. There is an apocryphal six character Chengua mark to the base of each plate. The central decoartion is thought to depict the Ruan brothers - Ruan Xiao'er, Ruan Xiaowu and Ruan Xiaoqi - characters who intially appear in chapter fifteeen of "The Water Margin". All three brothers lived at Stone Tablet, a village near Mount Liang in Jizhou and earned their living by fishing and trading "illegally" on the river. Ruan the Second was the only brother to be married and it maybe that the woman included in the scene is his wife. "The Water Margin" - "Shu Hu Zhuan" is set during the Song Dynasty and tells the story of how a group of one hundred and eight outlaws - one hundred and five men and three women - gathered at the Marshes of Mount Liang, to form a sizeable army before they were eventually granted amnesty by the government and sent on a campaign to supress rebel forces. Diameter: 16 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION Both plates have a small chip to the underside of the foot rim of approximately 2 mm in length. One plate also has a small chip to the underside of the rim of approximately the same length. RELATED EXAMPLE For a similar example see "The Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum", Collection No: c.709-1910 Price: £ 2,000 Weight: 0.3 KgRead more
This bowl is both extremely rare and unusual in shape - with wide flaring sides which rise from a short tapered foot to an everted rim. The exterior is decorated in bright over glaze enamels and depicts two scenes, both of which are taken from the story of the "Romance of the Western Chamber". One illustration is set at night - the inference being drawn from the inclusion into the scene of both the moon and a star constellation and represents the episode in which Zhang Sheng meets Cui Yingying after climbing a wall of the Salvation Monastery - the maid Hong Niang is shown standing to one side. The second scene is thought to be that of Zhang Sheng and his boy attendant, both resting at an inn on their way to the capital, where Zhang Sheng is set to take the highest level of imperial examinations. The inside of the rim is decorated with the “Eight Buddhist Symbols” and the central medallion depicts the "Three Friends of Winter”. In the center of the glazed base is an apocryphal Xuande reign mark within a double circle. Diameter: 20cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION There are four sealed hairline cracks all of which originate at the flared rim of the bowl. There is also a small area of rim restoration of approximately 1.5 cm to the area above the boy attendant. A fire fault originates at the foot rim and is of approximately 1 cm in length. RELATED EXAMPLES For similar scenes from the story of the "Romance of the Western Chamber" see "Famille Verte: Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels" by Christiaan J.A. Jorg, Pages 100-101, No 94, Scenes 16 and 23. Price: £ 6,250 Weight: 0.3 KgRead more
This miniature vase rises from a slightly tapered base to an accentuated mid-section and then again to the flared mouth. The decoration - in brilliant under glaze blue - shows warriors in a landscape, both on horseback and in combat. The scene is thought to be a taken from the " Yang-jia-jiang-yangi", "Generals of the Yang Family" by the Ming author Yong Damu. This is a collection of Chinese folklore plays and novels depicting the military actions of the Yang family during the early years of the Song dynasty (960-1279). The woman on horseback is considered to be Mu Guiying - possibly in a scene from "Commanding the Troops at 100 Years Old". The story is set during the war between the Northern Song Dynasty and the Kingdom of Western Xia, after the death of the Song general Yang Zongbao. Yang Zangbao's one hundred year old grandmother, She Saihua, along with Mu Guiying and other widows of the Yang family led the Song army to resist their invaders. Height: 11 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Guest and Gray, London, June 2004. CONDITION The vase is perfect. Price: £ 950 Weight: 0.1 KgRead more
The charger has a thick rounded foot ring and a broad flat everted rim with a dense diaper pattern containing four cartouches - in each are one of the " Eight Budhist Emblems". The circular panel is decorated in under glaze blue with a scene of seven boys playing in a landscaped ornamental garden, all under the watchful eye of four ladies. Whilst the scene on the plate is visually appealing, the images of the boys have been carefully chosen for their auspicious connotations. One boy is shown holding a lotus over the head of another - similar to a parasol. Whilst the parasol might imply his future high rank, the lotus provides a visual pun. One of the words for lotus in Chinese is "lian" , which is a homophone for a word meaning continuous or successive and thus when combined wth a boy, suggests the sucesive birth of sons and grandsons. Another one of the boys on the plate is seen playing with a crab. Diameter: 31 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION Charmingly decorated in washes of under glaze blue with a well restored section to the rim at the 11 o' clock position. Price: £ 800 Weight: 0.9 KgRead more
This rare and beautifully decorated oviform vase has a slight spreading mouth and short neck. The body of the vase is decorated with three panels - each framed by dense scrollwork and red peony blooms. In each of the three panels - decorated in the kakiemon palette of red, blue, green, yellow and aubergine - stand two figures, one with a parasol and the other with an "urchiwa". Between them is rockwork - with issuing prunus, tall bamboo and a bird perched in the bowing branches. The neck and foot both have under glaze blue lines with alternating flower sprays and geometric designs. The decoration with its chinoserie-like elements might be a Japanese adaption of Chinese kangxi porcelain with "Long Eliza" motifs. It is also quite feasible that such jars contributed to the chinoiserie theme of "La Dame au Parasol" - which echoed throughout European art in both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A ceiling painted at Orranienberg near Berlin - the seventeenth century palalce of the Elector of Brandenberg - allegedly included cherubs holding up a vase of similar decoration and others exist in English collections e.g. Blenheim Palace and Woburn Abbey. The jar may also have originally been part of a five-piece garniture. Height: 28 cm Last Quarter 17th Century CONDITION There are several well-restored consolidated cracks to the vase.There is a small area on one panel, which would apear to be where the slip and glaze have not adhered during the firing process. The enamels are good but show slight rubbing at the extremities of the figures. RELATED EXAMPLES An identical decorated but larger vase with a cover is illustrated in "Kakiemon: Porcelain from the English Country House", by Oliver Impey and Mark Hinton, Page 57, No 35. A similat example is illustrated in "Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections", by Christiaan J.A.Jorg, Page 74, No 61. Price: £ 20,000 Weight: 3.3 KgRead more
This hexagonal lobed teapot has a s-shaped spout and c-shaped handle - both with blue scrollwork. The cover - with its lobed rim and round ribbed knop - is decorated with panels of flowering poppies and chrysanthemums - all in the kakiemon palette of blue, green, iron-red and black. The body of the teapot - painted in brilliant enamels - exemplifies the refinement of enamelled kakiemon porcelain. The flowering plants have plenty of surrounding space - the execution is accomplished and the opaque colours well matched. The design of these early wares is often their charm. Jenyns dates a similar teapot as probably belonging to the Empo-Jokyo era, between 1673 -1687. Kakiemon teapots occur in several variations. There are also teacups and saucers but these often do not match. Such tea wares were intended primarily for export with little kakiemon being produced for the domestic Japanese market. Height: 9 cm Last Quarter 17th Century CONDITION There is a small well repaired chip to the spout and a very short firing crack on the inside of the lid. The enamels are in excellent condition. RELATED EXAMPLES An almost identical example is illustrated in " Jan Menzavab Diepen Stichting: A Selection from the Collection of Oriental Ceramics", by Christiaan J.A.Jorg, Page 189, No130. A similar example - but with a spout in silver - is illustrated in "Chinese Export Porcelain: Catalogue of the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford", by Oliver Impey,Page 87, No 83. Price: £ 6,250 Weight: 0.3 KgRead more
This baluster vase has a rounded lip and short straight neck - painted in a frieze of iron-red peonies, yellow chrysanthemums and dark green leaves. The body - divided into horizontal zones - is heavily decorated in under glaze blue with dark green, iron-red and yellow over glaze enamels. The shoulder displays interlocking red peonies with yellow chrysanthemums, whilst the section nearest to the base is again decorated with peonies in enamels of iron-red and dark green. The design to the mid-section of the vase is of four vertical double strands with a selection of items from the "Eight Precious Things" - in iron-red and green - with fluttering ribbon streamers to enhance their importance and power. However, because the objects are so highly stylised, some of the symbols are difficult to identify and lead to an element of confusion, possibly caused through the painter having allowed for an element of flexibility in the design between the 'Eight Buddhist Symbols" and the "Eight Precious Objects". Alternating with the double strands are highly decorative circles - again enhanced by ribbons. Height with cover: 36 cm Chongzhen (1628-1644) PROVENANCE Baroness Burdett-Coutts and thence by descent. Last with Duke's The Dorchester Fine Art Saleroom, February 2008. Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) was the granddaughter of Thomas Coutts who on the death of her step - grandmother inherited a significant fortune. However, due to nineteenth century convention she was forbidden from involvement in Coutts Bank and as a result channelled her energies into philanthropy - spending the majority of her wealth on scholarships and endowments. In 1871, in recognition of her work, Queen Victoria conferred on her a "sue jure" peerage as Boronesss Coutts of Highgate and Brookfield. CONDITION There is a sealed hairline crack which runs from the rim of the neck to the shoulder. The enamels are exremely vibrant and show no sign of rubbing. RELATED EXAMPLES A bowl with a similar decoration is illustrated in "Rare Marks in Chinese Ceramics: A joint exhibition from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum", by Ming Wilson, Page 152, No 66. Price: £ 7,500 Weight: 3.4 KgRead more
A pair of hexagonal vases decorated in underglaze blue - with a splayed foot and a faceted pear-shaped body. Each of the six facets are painted with a scallop-shaped cartouche containing scenes depicting either a landscape, antiquities or a " Long Eliza" enclosed in a fenced garden - all of which are against a cracked-ice background. The necks of each vase are decorated with lappet borders, between which are two ruyi bands enclosing a selection of abstract leaf and floral patterns. The inside and outside of the rim are both decorated with a zigzag border and the glazed recessed base bears a European G-mark in blue. Other examples of porcelain with a G-mark to the base are usually of the same high quality - suggesting that this type of mark was indicative of a superior group, custom made perhaps for a discriminating member of the East India Company or a private merchant. Height: 30 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENANCE From an English Private Cpllection - last with Tennants Auctioneers of Leyburn, March 2011. CONDITION Both vases are perfect with the exception of some slight frittting to the rim and neck ridges of each. RELATED EXAMPLES For an identical pair see "Blue and White Porcelain from the Pullan Collection" Spink, November 1998, No 29. For a single identical vase see "An Era of Inspiration: 17th Century Chinese Porcelains from the Collection of Julia nd John Curtis", Christie's New York, 16 March 2015, Lot 3584. Two vases of similar shape, decorated in famille verte enamels are illustrated in " Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Ming and Qing Dynasties", C Jorg 1997, Page 165, No 181. Price: £ 27,500 Weight: 1.8 KgRead more
The border of the plate is of a diaper pattern - broken with six cartouches - in which are enclosed a selection of objects taken from both the "Eight Buddhist Emblems" and "Eight Precious Objects". There are two landscapes on the reverse of the plate interspersed with sketches of a fisherman in a boat. There is also a six-character apocryphal Chenghua mark to the base. The central decoration shows Hong Niang with the young scholar Zhang Sheng in an episode taken from the "Romance of the Western Chamber". Close examination shows that Hong Niang is holding a letter sent by Zhang Sheng to Cui Yingying. This scene preceded the one in which Yingying reproaches Hong Niang in order to protect her sense of propriety - referred to as "The Fuss About the Billet-Doux". A comparison of the same scene in a woodblock print in the "Xixiang Ji" with that on the plate, shows Hong Niang holding the arm of Zhang Sheng as they cross a bridge leading from a house - whereas here the bridge is now converted into a staircase. This provides a clear example of the way in which the porcelain painters in the sevententh century altered the detail when transposing images from a print onto porcelain - often done in order to accommodate their own conventions. Diameter: 26 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION There are a number of very small chips to the foot rim and with restored frits to the rim. RELATED EXAMPLE A variation of the same scene is included in "Famille Verte: Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels" by Christiaan J.A.Jorg, Page 100, Scene 14. Price: £ 1,500 Weight: 0.5 KgRead more
This shallow saucer dish with its raised sides is decorated in the famille verte palette with an array of objects - a decorative format referred to as the "Hundred Antiques" - thought suitable for a scholarly collection of the time. The array of objects is interesting and includes a parrot on a chain in a holder hanging from a stand, various vases of archaic bronze form and a bronze figure of a kylin - all arranged amongst tables and stands. To the reverse of the saucer are three double peony sprays in green and iron-red. Diameter: 22.3 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION Well repaired areas of restoration to the rim - accompanied by associated overspray. RELATED EXAMPLE For a plate with a similar design but in under glaze blue see "Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: The Ming and Qing Dynasties" by Christiaan J. A. Jorg, Page 93, No 81. Price: £ 1,250 Weight: 0.4 KgRead more
In brilliant tones of underglaze cobalt blue this ovoid jar is decorated with three "mythical beasts". Each stands on a jagged rock protruding from foaming waves with stylised "flames" emanating from its body, emphasizing its magical abilities. A double line border encircles the short neck, which has been left in the biscuit. The recessed base, with its undercut foot rim, shows a double circle in underglaze blue. Whilst on intial inspection it would be easy to identify the "mythical beast" as a kylin, it is important to remember that it is often confused with the baize - the "Beast of the White Marsh". This mythical animal had the head of a dragon, two horns and the body of a lion, but as like here, with scales only appearing on its shoulders and flanks. This was in contrast to the kylin whose entire body was covered in scales. The kylin also had hooves - whereas here the beast displays claws - once again a characteristic of the baize. This mysterious creature, according to Tang Dynasty mythology, taught Huangdi - The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597 BC) - about the dangerous and malevolent beings inhabiting the world: "Huangdi went on a tour of inspection. In the east he reached the sea and ascended Mount Hang in Hunan Province. At the seashore he encounted "The White Marsh", a divine beast, who could speak in human language and who had extensive knowledge of the nature of all creatures". Mountains were considered especially auspicious when combined with water - referred to as an auspicious blessing - "longevity and good fortune as unlimited as that of the oceans and mountains". Mountains were also generally depicted with three peaks, indicating "The Isles of the Immortals". The Eight Immortals resided in a paradise known as the "Isles of the Blest" in pavillions of silver and gold. This paradise was considered to consist of three or more mountains isolated in the Eastern Sea - Fangzhang, Penlai and Yingzhou - sometimes known collectively as Penglai. Before they became partly ornamental it is thought that these jars were used to store root ginger, which in the eighteenth century was considered to have stimulative digestive properties. Height: 22 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENANCE From an Englsh Private Collection - last with Geoffrey Waters Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art, London, March 2000. CONDITION There is a short well restoredl hairline crack to the body of the vase. RELATED EXAMPLES A baluster vase with a similar decoration is illustrated in the Avery Bundage Collection: ID:B60P83 A Yen Yen vase with a similar decoration is illustrated in "Chinese Blue & White Porcelain from the Pullan Collection", Page 39, No. 50. Price: £ 5,000 Weight: 2.1 KgRead more
This slender vase is decorated in under glaze blue and over glaze enamels of green, red, yellow and black. The scene shows a group of female figures standing on a terrace, which is surrounded by balustrades and ornamental rocks. On the shoulder there is a "cracked-ice" border with peony sprays on the everted trumpet neck. The base is unglazed with concentric grooves. The scene is considered to be an episode from the tragedy of Yang Guifei (719-756), who was the favourite concubine of the Tang emperor Ming Hueng (685-762) - she was his daughter-in-law with whom he fell passionately in love and later married. However, she became the victim of political intrigue and together with her cousin Yang Guozhong, was accused of having provoked the Anshi Rebellion. The revolt was a turning point in Chinese history, from which the Tang Dynasty never fully recovered. She is often portrayed with peonies, as she is said to have loved them so much that she asked the gods to allow them to bloom throughout the year. Height: 38 cm Shunzhi (1644-1661) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Wooley & Wallis Salisbury Salerooms, July 2005. CONDITION There is a small well repaired area of restoration to the neck - accompanied by associated overspray. RELATED EXAMPLE For a vase of similar shape - with a less everted neck - depicting a scene from " The Tang Emperor visits the Moon Palace" see " Shunzhi Porcelain, Treasures from an Unknown Reign" by Michael Butler, Julia B Curtiss and Stephen Little, Page 206, No 64. Price: £ 8,500 Weight: 3.2 KgRead more
This rare scalloped-shaped plate has a central design in the form of a seven lobed slightly sunken panel. Surrounding this are components moulded in the shape of raised panels containing a variety of sea creatures. Underneath the rim, 'The Eight Precious Things" alternate with lotus blossom. There is an apocryphal six character Chenqua mark to the base within a double circle. The decoration to the central panel - in underglaze blue - is of three figures within a landscape, the latter of which is suggested by pine branches projecting into the surface from the right, along with small rocks and shrubs. The three Daoist hermits-in pursuit of immortality-are characterised by their loose garments and long hair, which is tied into a bun.The man standing beneath the pine tree, a symbol of longevity, holds the fungus of immortality - lingzhi - in his left hand. The man on his right hand side holding a basket of flowers is associated with Lan Caihe, one of the Eight Immortals. Perhaps the most mysterious of the Eight Immortals Lan Caihe's age and gender is an ambiguity. As the "patron saint" of flowers his/her emblem is a flower basket - often carried and filled with herbs and flowers associated with the Taoist symbols of longevity. Always one foot is bare - as can be seen here. Unlike many of the other Immortals, accounts and episodes in the life of Lan Caihe are in short supply - indeed he/she is rarely seen outside of the group context - making this plate rare in terms of its decorative content. Diameter: 26 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION The plate is perfect - with a small amount of kiln grit to the foot and a small area of fritting to the rim. RELATED EXAMPLE For a plate with a similar central decoration of Daoist hemits within a landscape see " La Maladie de Porcelaine: East Asian Porcelain from The Collection of Augustus the Strong " by Eva Strober, Page 38, No.12. Price: £ 3,500 Weight: 0.7 KgRead more
This cylindrical vase with its elevated central section, bevelled foot and trumpet shaped neck, is modelled on an antique bronze vessel known as a Gu. The decoration is divided into three sections and combines under glaze blue with over glaze enamels of green, iron-red, yellow and aubergine. The vase is made of levigated clay and a number of pinholes are clearly visible around the inside of the rim. The thick glaze gives the vase a slightly green tinge and a cracked ice-border encircles the rim of the neck. The scene on the upper section of the vase depicts a young women and older man of noble lineage. It is interesting that the painting clearly displays the man with his left arm around the shoulders of the younger woman and it is quite possible that this may be an episode from the tragedy of Yang Guifei (719-756), who was the favourte concubine of the Tang emperor Ming Hueng (685-762). To the left of the couple and kneeling in front, is a maiden baring a jue - she too is probably of noble heritage as she is also accompanied by an attendant, who holds over her a single tiered yellow canopy. An all female five-piece musical ensemble stands to the right of the couple - the instruments include a drum, flute, clappers, cymbals and two rows of small bells on a stick. Musical instruments were considered to symbolize matrimonial harmony and the mutual affection existing between a man and his wife. Related depictions of women playing musical instruments appear in the Wanli addition of the " Pipaji - The Story of the Lute" - an opera story by Gau Ming (1305-70). It is therfore also possible that the painter may have used a woodcut illustration relating to the same story for the decoration on this vase. The central section of the vase shows three blooming chrysanthemums in iron-red and yellow along with two branches of peonies also in iron-red. The lower section is painted with two branches with blue and green leaves, one with three peaches and the other with three pomegranates, also in iron-red, turquoise and yellow. Height: 53 cm Shunzhi/Early Kangxi (1655-1665) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers, November 2004. CONDITION The upper section of the vase has a number of well restored cracks originating from the rim. RELATED EXAMPLE For a baluster vase with a similar scene see " The Wrestling Boys: An exhibition of Chinese and Japanese ceramics from the 16th to the 18th century in the collection at Burghley House" by G Lang, No 162. Price: £ 3,000 Weight: 4.7 KgRead more
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