Antique Chinese Porcelain Co.

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Objects "Antique Chinese Porcelain Co."

Transitional Wucai Baluster Vase and Cover

This rare vase of ovoid form is brightly decorated in red, green, yellow and turquoise over glaze enamels. There are upright lappets rising from both above the foot and below the shoulder - each bordered in yellow, red, and green enamels. The body is decorated with four roundels - reserved against a brocade background - which alternate with Buddhist Emblems - Baijixiang - set below flames encircling the neck. Each roundel - outlined in green and aubergine - contains a single flower representing each of the four seasons. The peony - considered to be the queen of flowers symbolises spring; lotus - sacred flower of Buddhists represents summer; chrysanthemum - emblem of autumn and prunus - symbol of winter, with each of its five petals representing the five races: Chinese, Manchu, Mongol, Mohammadan and Tibetan. When the four flowers are shown together they form a homophone meaning "year round peace". Height with cover: 36 cm Shunzhi (1644-1661) CONDITION There is a well restored crack, which runs across the base of the vase and approximately 5 cm up the body from the base. The enamels are very good and show no sign of rubbing. The lid whilst of the same period as the vase is matched. RELATED EXAMPLE A sleeve vase with a similar decoration can be seen in "An Era of Inspiration:17th Century Chinese Porcelains from the Collection of Julia and John Curtis", Christie's New York, 16 March 2015, Lot 35. Price: £ 5,000 Weight: 4.5 KgRead more

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Blue and White Kangxi Shallow Plate

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

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Transitional Wucai Slender Baluster Vase

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

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Transitional Wucai Gu-Shaped Beaker Vase

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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Transitional Blue and White Bottle Vase

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

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Kangxi Famille Verte Ginger Jar

This oviform jar with its flat straight-sided cover is decorated with flowering peonies, magnolia and wild crab apple trees, all growing from strangely shaped taihu-rocks. As the decoration on the jar unfolds the pictorial quality - displaying delicate shades and graduations of the famille verte palette - is increased with the addition of a variety of birds and insects. Here the theme of "Flowers and Birds" - popular in Chinese painting since the Song dynasty - achieves a very highly decorative quality. The rocks are outlined by wide dark rims emphasised by strokes encircling light-washed areas. The cover is again decorated in the same fashion as the body - with flowering peonies, magnolia and insects. The base of the jar is glazed. The decorative combination of peonies, magnolia and crab apple blosssom is not only applied because of its beauty but together they also convey the promise of happiness in the form of a rebus - phonetically identical with the meaning in Chinese of " Wealth and high rank in the Jade Hall". This shape of jar is commonly referred to in the West as a ginger jar - the name being derived from the Dutch word " confijt pot ", being a pot for preserves, which was found in the freight lists of Dutch ships from about 1635. Vessels of this type seem to have been particularly popular in Holland because they are depicted in numerous still life paintings of the seventeenth century. Height including cover: 24 cm / Weight: 2.8 Kg Kangxi (1162-1722) CONDITION The body of the jar is perfect and the enamels are vibrant with no sign of rubbing. The cover with damage that has been well restored. RELATED EXAMPLE For a similar example but without a cover see "Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art: Julian Thompson Study Collection", Sothebys London, May 2014, Lot 196. Price: £ 4,250 Weight: 2.8 KgRead more

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Blanc-de-Chine Teapot and Cover

The body of this pomegranate-shaped teapot has been moulded in two halves and then combined - resulting in a luting line running horizontally around the middle of the body. The handle and lid have been modelled separately as a branch and leaf - beginning at the handle, continuing onto the body and then connecting at the lid. The foot is in the shape of a six-pointed star. These pomegranate-shaped teapots were produced in Dehua for domestic and export use during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries - indeed Augustus the Strong was reputed to have owned several. In Europe, where such items were scarce and costly, replacements were diffficult to obtain. As a result some teapot lids would be securely attached with link chains or solid mounts. The form was copied in soft paste porcelain in France at Saint Cloud. Bottger also made a similar form in hard paste porcelain in Meissen around 1710-12. Height: 12 cm Last Quarter 17th Century CONDITION There is a luting line to the body of the teapot - in line with the narrative above. There are a number small chips to the tips of the leaf that make up the lid. RELATED EXAMPLES Identical examples are illustrated in both "Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics from the Peabody Essex Museum", by William R. Sargent, Page 206, Item 98 and " Blanc de Chine: The Great Porcelain of Dehua" by Robert H. Blumenfield, Page 51, Plate B. Price: £ 3,000 Weight: 0.3 KgRead more

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Large Kangxi Famille Verte Dish

The central medallion is vigorously decorated with a large scaly dragon facing a long-tailed phoenix - both surrounded by stylised ruyi-shaped clouds and red flames. The rim is decorated with panels of auspicious animals - qilin, xiezhi, baize, winged deer - alternating with panels of flowers - peonies, lotus and chrysanthemum. In the centre of the glazed base - within a double circle - is a lozenge embellished with ribbons indicative of magic powers - one of the "Eight Precious Things". This is thought to have once been an ancient headress symbolising victory or success. It seems probable that the creature with the doglike head and body, paws and tail of a Buddhist lion is a xiezhi. This was considered to be an extremely fierce animal with the ability to distinquish between good and evil. In the same way the baize, with the head of a dragon, two horns and the body of a lion is distinct from the qilin, in that its scales only appear on the shoulders and flanks as opposed to its entire body. A dragon together with a phoenix is indicative of a conjugal pairing and is still popular as a wedding motif. In the pairing, the dragon represents the yang force and the phoenix the ying - a representation often used for the emperor and empress. Diameter: 37 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION The enamels are luminescent with no rubbing. Two v-shaped pieces from the rim have been reintroduced at the 11 o'clock position above the phoenix. There are two sealed hairline cracks originating from the rim - positioned to the right of the dragon. RELATED EXAMPLE An identical dish is illustrated by Eva Strober in "Symbols on Chinese Porcelain", Page 63,No 18. Price: £ 3,500 Weight: 1.5 KgRead more

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Japanese Kakiemon Vase

This rare oviform vase is strikingly decorated with a continuous river scene - occupying almost the entire surface of its body. The landscape is sketchy - with limited indications of a rocky promontory, a boat and pavillion - in thick enamels of red, blue, turquoise and yellow. The neck, shoulder and lower portion of the jar is of an uncomplicated design - limited to simple lines and bands of colour. The handling of the enamels is carefully composed for effect and it is this treatment that is thought to place the vase amongst the earliest decorated in over glaze enamels. Vases with these enamel colours, referred to as the "early enamel groups", form part of the first polychrome export goods manufactured in Arita. They are decorated in a wide variety of motifs and representations and the way in which they are divided into panels, as well as landscape elements, make them redolent of Chinese examples. Height: 23 cm Date: 1660-1670 CONDITION There is a small chip to the inside of the rim and an area of glaze crackle on one side of the body. RELATED EXAMPLES An identical example is illustrated in " City Art Museum of Saint Louis: 200 Years of Japanese Porcelain", by Richard S. Cleveland, Page 93, No 80. Similar examples are illustrated in "Fine and Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections", by Christiaan J.A.Jorg, Page 60, No 44 and "Japanese export porcelain: Catalogue of the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford", by Oliver Impey, Page 70, No 51. Price: £ 11,000 Weight: 1.5 KgRead more

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Large Japanese Kakiemon Vase

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

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