Objects "Antique Chinese Porcelain Co."
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 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 vase is bulbous with a short neck and slightly rounded lip. It is thickly potted and with the exception of the base, covered in a colourless glaze. The decoration combines green, iron-red, yellow and aubergine over glaze enamels with under glaze blue. The body of the vase is decorated with two powerful four-clawed dragons - one in yellow and the other in green. The large curved bodies of the dragons are ascending from waves, which break against large blue rocks. Freely painted red flame-like lines fill the space between the dragons and clouds - adding much fluidity to the design. The shoulder has a "stone wall" border. In Chinese mythology the dragon is considered to be a benevolent creature - rising from the waves of the Spring Equinox to bring the rains necessary for the harvest. In the same way dragons surrounded by red clouds evoke the tradition of clouds as a good omen. Some of the clouds shown on this vase are of the four-tailed type, emphasised in blue and green and consisting of ruyi-shaped elements - combining the positive notion of wishes for both blessings and a long life. Height with cover: 40 cm Shunzhi (1644-1661) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Guest & Gray, London, September 2004. CONDITION There is a well restored semi-circular crack to the body of the vase. RELATED EXAMPLE An identical example can be seen in "An Era of Inspiration: 17th Century Chinese Porcelain from the Collection of Julia and John Curtis", Christies New York, 16 March 2015, Lot 3541. A near identical example but without a cover, can be seen in " Chinese Export Porcelain: From the Museum of Anastacio Goncalves Lisbon" by Maria Antonia Pinto de Matos, Page 160, No 80. A similar vase is also illustrated by Eva Strober in "Symbols of Chinese Porcelain", No 7 and in "S Marchant and Sons: Exhibition of Transitional Wares for the Japanese and Domestic Markets", Page 62, No 108. Price: £ 5,000 Weight: 4.3 KgRead more
The jar is beautifully painted in under glaze blue and wucai enamels with a continuous scene of a procession of boys in a landscape - clearly defined in the jagged flecked details of the trees and rocks. Amongst the boys are three bearing banners, two playing musical instruments and one aside a qilin - holding a ruyi sceptre. The procession represents the return of a successful candidate from the imperial examinations. At the top of the shoulder there is a "cracked-ice" border and the base is glazed. In chinese tradition the qilin is said to bring male offspring to the happy parents, making it the equivalent of the western stork. The design conveys the wish for many sons and their success in becoming an official. Height: 25 cm Shunzhi: 1644-1661. PROVENANCE D. R Laurence MD From an English Private Collection - last with Wooley and Wallis Salisbury Salerooms, May 2010. CONDITION The enamels are vibrant and show no sign of rubbing. There are two well repaired hairline cracks leading from the rim of the jar. RELATED EXAMPLE A similar example is illustrated by Eva Strober in "Symbols on Chinese Porcelain", Page 68, No 21. Price: £5,250 Weight: 2.2 KgRead more
Of rectangular cross-section and flaring sides. Decorated with stylised flowers and cross-hatching on the sides - with fruits and leaves to the base of the interior. Diameter: 9 cm First Quarter 18th Century CONDITION There is a small amount of fritting to the corner rim of one of the beakers and a small chip to the foot rim of approximately 3 mm. The enamels are good and show no visible sign of rubbing. The other beaker is perfect. Price: £ 3,250 Weight: 0.3 KgRead more
This female lion sits on her hind quarters with her head turned sideways towards a small cub that is climbing up her chest. Her mouth is wide open revealing both her teeth and tongue - her mane is in tight curls. The protruding forehead is adorned with the character wang and the decoration is in famille verte enamels on the biscuit. The animal is seated on a high square hollow base, with a pierced scalloped cartouche on each side. Figures of Buddhistic lions are usually found in pairs, with the male depicted with his front paws resting on a brocade ball and the female, as here, with her cub climbing up her chest. The wang character painted on the lion's forehead means king - as they are known as defenders of law and protectors of sacred buildingds. Although lions are not indigenous to China, they were introduced through Indian Buddhism and first appear in Chinese art from the beginning of the Ming dynasty - where they often acted as the guards to Buddhistic temples. This positioning relates to the Lamaistic concept - when Buddha entered his temple, he ordered the two lions accompanying him to sit in motionless obedience at the entrance. Hence Buddhistic lions are often referred to as "Dogs of Buddha" or "Dogs of Fo". Height: 37 cm Knagxi (1662-1722) CONDITION The enamels are good and luminescent - showing no sign of wear. A few of the curls on the mane of the lioness have been repaired. The cub has had limited damage to both ears, right hand paw and rear left leg - all now well restored. RELATED EXAMPLE A similar example can be found in " The Collection of Sir Alfred Aykroyd", Sotheby's London, May 1966, Lot 113. Price: £ 7,000 Weight: 2.7 KgRead more
The bowl is deep with a slightly everted rim and decorated on the inside with a frieze of alternating leaves and mixed flowers. The foot ring is straight and decorated with two thin circular lines of under glaze blue. The outside of the bowl is delicately painted in a vivid under glaze blue with a pair of long-tailed pheasants perched on a rock between which grow magnolia, peony and chrysanthemum. The larger magnolia branch and smaller but more abundant chrysanthemum sprigs give the appearance of growing from either side of the taihu rock - creating a well balanced composition. The decoration to the bowl unfolds with pictorial quality - displaying delicate shades and graduations of under glaze blue. Here the theme of "Flowers and Birds" - popular in Chinese painting since the Song dynasty - achieves a very high decorative quality. Diameter: 19.8 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Bukoswki Actioneers, Sweden, November 2009. CONDITION The bowl is perfect with beautiful and vibrant shades of under glaze blue. Price: £ 8,500 Weight: 0.4 KgRead more
The charger has a thick rounded foot rim and is decorated in both outline and wash with strong shades of under glaze blue. The circular panel is dominated by a scene of threee musicians with two boy attendants - all within a setting under a pine tree. In the foreground a tea kettle sits on a brazier with foliage nearby. The cavetto is richly decorated with lotus blossom and tendrils - on some plates this decoration alternates with Buddhist emblems. The broad flat everted rim has a dense diaper pattern with four cartouches - in which are scenes of fishermen on a riverbank. With the exception of the foot ring the base is glazed and the rim is painted brown. Width: 31.5 cm Kangxi (1662-1723) CONDITION The plate has a small area of rim fritting which has been well restored. RELATED EXAMPLE For a similar example see " Chinese Decorative Works of Art, Furniture and Export Porcelain" Christies London, September 23-24 1988. Price: £ 3,250 Weight: 1.0 KgRead more
With the bulbous lower body decorated with alternating panels of branchers of prunus and auspicious antiques, including a vase filled wth peacock feathers. The tall neck is decorated with flowering sprigs and panels of lotus. Height: 22 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENANCE From an English Private Collection - last with Nagel Auctioneers, Germany, June 2005. CONDITION Both vases are perfect. Price: £ 7,000 Weight: 1.2 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
Standing erect with their heads turned slightly to one side and with large eyes and curving beaks. The birds stand spreading their powerful tallons on a hollow rocky base with their plummage detailed by shallow mouldings. The pure white porcelain is covered in an off-white glaze. Height: 11 cm Last Quarter 17th Century CONDITION There is a small chip of approximately 1-2 mm to the base of each bird. A number of firing faults to the inside base of each. RELATED EXAMPLES In "The Wrestling Boys" Gordon Lang illustrates one of four comparable birds that seem to be identifiable with".. the 4 China faulcons.." described in the 1688 inventory made at Burghley House. For a similar example but in the form of a spill vase see " Christie's Pictorial History of Chinese Ceramics" by Anthony du Boulay, Page 183, No.13. Price: £ 3,500 Weight: 0.2 KgRead more
With a slightly everted rim and decorated with pavillions and maidens amongst a rocky landscape. Around the rim is a diaper-pattern border with eight reserves - each filled with auspicious emblems. The painter in his decoration of the plate has given significant attention to the colour and depth of design. The scene is well drawn and beautifully enamelled. The dish can be regarded as a good example of the fully developed famille verte style and palette. Diameter: 39 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION The enamels are vibrant and show no sign of wear. The rim has an area of restoration and there is a sealed hairline crack to the base of the plate. Price: £ 1,500 Weight: 1.6 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
This heavily potted blue and white vase has a pear-shaped body and a tall waisted neck - painted with stylised tulips and Buddhistic emblems. The decoartion is in the " High Transitional" style with a scene of a military officer baring a halberd - a spear-shaped weapon with a crescent blade to one side. There is a fortress to the rear of the landscape and a horse being equipped for battle in the foreground. It is thought that the scene may be taken from the historic novel " Romance of the Three Kingdoms " showing Lu Bu with his horse " Red Hare ". Lu Bu was a warlord during the late Eastern Han dynasty - described as a mighty warrior but notorious for his temperamental behaviour - for which he earned the nickname of " Flying General ". In chapter three of the novel, Lu Bu is described as " ...with a lofty and dignified look and a majestic and awe-inspiring baring, wielding a halberd..." which later in the novel is given the name " Sky Piercer ". Unfortunately Lu Bu met his end in 199 AD, being hanged and then decapitated on the orders of Cao Cao. After his death, his horse " Red Hare ", came into Cao Cao's pocession and later it was given to Lord Guan. However the animal sadly starved itself to death whilst in the later ownership of Ma Zhong. The halberd is a pun for "rank" - representing rapid promotion and success in politics. Sometimes the halberd is also shown with a stone chime - representing " auspicious hapiness ". Height: 21 cm Chongzhen (1635-44) PROVENANCE English Private Collection - last with Christie's Amsterdam, May 2004. CONDITION The porcelain and the glaze are of good quality with the scene detailed. There arel two small areas of v-shaped restoration to the flared lip. RELATED EXAMPLES A similar vase but dispalying a different scene, is included by S. Marchant & Sons in their exhibition of " Ming Blue and White: Jiajing - Chongzhen: Including dated Examples", 2004, Page 108, No77. Price: £ 5,000 Weight: 0.8 KgRead more
This large pear-shaped tankard has a broad neck and looped handle - pierced at the top for a mount. The oviform body is decorated in under glaze blue with three large shaped panels - all reserved on a ground of karakusa scrolls - divided by different stylised flowers. The central reserve - opposite the handle - contains two figures carrying an umbrella - all within a wooded landscape. The two remaining landscapes are vigorously painted with naive interpretations of the Chinese Ming/Transitional style - a landscape of birds, mountains and bottlebrush trees. Whilst this is the most common type of tankard produced, they are found in a variety of sizes and were normally supplied without lids - which would have been fitted at a later stage in either silver or pewter.The size of this tankard would indicate that it was used as a container for beer rather than as a drinking vessel. Height: 24 cm Last Quarter 17th Century CONDITION The tankard is perfect. RELATED EXAMPLES A similar example is illustrated in both " Japanese Export Porcelain: Catalogue of the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford", by Oliver Impey, Page 54, No 34 and in "City Art Museum of Saint Louis: 200 Years of Japanese Porcelain", Page 45, No 32. Price: £ 3,250 Weight: 1.3 KgRead more
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