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 Blue and White Pear-Shaped Vase

This heavily potted blue and white vase has a pear-shaped body leading to a tall slender and flared neck - painted with stylised tulips and Budhistic emblems. There is a daisy pattern to the shoulder and a lappet decoration to the lower level of the body - above the foot rim. The scene depicting scholars in a garden setting, is thought to be taken from the " Literary Gathering in the Western Garden ". This legend was popular both during the Ming and Qing periods - with the subject concerning itself with the gathering of the famed Northern Song scholars, Sui Shi, Huang Tingjian and eight others at Wang Shen's home sometime during the second half of the eleventh century. Wang Shen was the husband of Princess Duchang Wei (1052-1080) - who was the second daughter of Emperor Yingzong - and a calligrapher in his own right. Many ink scrolls depicting the gathering have been done over the centuries and a number are in the National Palace Museum Collection - one by Qiu Ying (1494-1552) and another attributed to Zhao Menafu (1254-1322). Both works show scolars in five groups undertaking calligraphy, painting and discussions on the Budhistic concept of Wushantum - of " not being born". Height: 21 cm Chongzhen (1635-44) PROVENANCE Englsih Private Collection - last with Christie's Amsterdam, May 2004. CONDITION The porcelain and the glaze are of good quality with the scene detailed and well painted. There are two small v-shaped areas of restoration to the rim. The glazed base has two firing cracks and there is a small chip to the inside of the foot rim - which is only visible when the vase is everted. RELATED EXAMPLE A similar vase is included by S. Marchant & Sons in their exhibition of "Ming Blue and White: Jiajing - Chongzhen: Including Dated Examples", 2004, Page 108, No 77. Price: £ 5,500 Weight: 0.8 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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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 Deep Blue and White Bowl

Whilst the scene on this bowl may initially be thought to be that of the "Gathering in the Western Garden", it is considered more likely to be that of the " Nine Elders of Xiangshan" - being similar in subject to an anonymous silk painting in the National Palace Museum Collection. However it is clear, that some of the painter's own artistic adaptions have been applied to the bowl, ensuring that each scene leads the viewer to the next - forming a seamlessly coherent whole. In one scene a sage is weilding his brush as he writes on a cliff wall, whilst another, holding a plantain leaf looks at him in appreciation. A boy attendant stands close by holding what is thought to be an ink-stone. In another of the three scenes two sages play "Go" - a game in which the object is to use one's own stones to surround a larger area of the board than your opponent. It is thought that the game originated in ancient China, more than two thousand years ago. The rules of "Go" are elegant and rigorously logical. In the third scene a sage plays a zither whilst two others are sitting and listening to him. The rim on the inside of the bowl is decorated with blossoming prunus reserved on a blue cracked-ice background. The design evokes the beautiful blossom of the plum whilst it is still winter - the cracking ice being the first signs of spring. The inside medallion depicts a sage within a landscape. Width: 16 cm Kangxi (1662-1722) CONDITION The under glaze blue is of a vibrant quality. There is a sealed hairline crack that originates from the rim - close to the right of the figures playing "Go". RELATED EXAMPLE For a similar scene - on a brush pot - of scholars in leisurely pursuits amongst rocks and pine trees see "Seventeenth Century Jingdezhen Porcelain from the Shanghai Museum and the Butler Collections: Beauty's Enchantment" by Sir Michael Butler and Professor Wang Qingzheng, Pages 282-283, No 103. Price: £ 4,500 Weight: 0.4 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 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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Kangxi Famille Verte Stem Cup

The decoration on the bowl is of a scholar -painted in hues of green, aubergine and yellow - surrounded by scrolls and within a rocky fenced landscape. An approaching attendant carries food and close to the scholar is a goose. The bevelled and partially hollow stem is decorated with two of the "Eight Precious Objects" - embellished with ribbons - indicative of magic powers. There is a separate - but later dated - wooden stand. The scholar is thought to be the Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303-361) who is referred to as the "Sage of Calligraphy". He is considered by many to be one of the most esteemed calligraphers of all time and a master of the running script. He is particularly remembered for his pastime of rearing geese. Legend has it that by observing how geese moved their necks, he developed the ability of turning his wrist whilst writing. The scene on the cup is thought to describe the story of Wang Xizhi's visit to Shaoxing where there was a Daoist monk who had a flock of fine geese. Wang Xizhi was delighted by the geese and as a result wished to buy them - although the monk was reluctant to sell. However after much persuasion the monk relented, agreeing to give Wang Xizhi the flock in exchange for a transcript by him of Laozi's Daodejing, with its commentary by Heshanggong.The monk had already prepared the scrolls in advance but could not find anyone with experience enough to write them. Wang remained for half a day to write out two chapters - both the Dao and De. Later he returned home - with the geese as his reward. Height excluding the stand: 12 cm. Kangxi (1662-1722) PROVENENCE By repute purchased from John Sparks Limited in the 1960's. CONDITION There is a well restored hairline crack to the rim. RELATED EXAMPLE There is a small porcelain cup depicting Wang Xizhi "walking geese" in the China Gallery of the Asian Civilisation Museum in Singapore. Price: £ 6,500 Weight: 0.5 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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Kangxi Famille Verte Conical Bowl

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

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