A fine 'ge'-type hexagonal vase, hu. Seal mark and period of Qianlong

of sturdily potted hexagonal section, the shouldered body sitting on a splayed foot and rising to a waisted neck flanked by a pair of tubular handles, covered overall with a thick soft grey glaze suffused with an irregular network of black crackling and golden threads, the glaze stopping neatly at the footring, the base inscribed with the six-character seal mark in underglaze-blue. 29.1 cm., 11 1/2 in. Estimate 1,200,000—1,500,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: A Japanese Collection, by repute.

NOTE: Although several Qianlong vases of this shape are found in tea-dust glaze or decorated in underglaze blue, the present Ge-type piece is extremely rare and no other example appears to have been published. For the inspiration of this vase, see a larger Yongzheng Guan-type vase in the Qing Court collection, and still in Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 204; and two examples sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th November 2005, lot 1316; and 26th April 2004, lot 1052.

A Qianlong vase of this shape and size, but with a tea-dust glaze, formerly in the Hall Family Collection and included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Iron in the Fire, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1988, was sold in these rooms, 2nd May 2000, lot 556; and a larger example in the Idemitsu collection, Tokyo, is published in Chinese Ceramics from the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 965. Compare also a large moulded celadon-glazed vase of this from, with Qianlong mark and of the period, included in the exhibition Ethereal Elegance. Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing. The Huaihaitang Collection, Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2007, cat .no. 50; and a blue and white decorated example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Treasures in the Royalty. The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, pl. 238.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 08 Apr 09. Hong Kong www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's