Antique Chinese Porcelain Co.

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Objects "Antique Chinese Porcelain Co."

Transitional Blue and White Pear-Shaped Vase

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

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Kangxi Blue and White Ginger Jar

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

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Transitional Wucai Baluster Vase and Cover

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

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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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Transitional Wucai Baluster Vase and Cover

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

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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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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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Kangxi Famille Verte Figure of a Buddhistic Lion

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

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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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