7

A superb ming-style blue and white vase, meiping. Yongzheng period (1723-1735).  Image 2009 Christie's Ltd

Delicately potted and of unusually small size, the tapering body exquisitely painted in cobalt of rich blue tone to simulate 'heaping and piling' with eight detached fruiting branches and vines, including peach, melon, persimmon, cherry, grape, pomegranate, lychee and longan, above a band of interlocking upright lappets formed by ruyi and trefoil scrolls, the broad shoulders with a further collar of lappets with foliate and ruyi-head terminals, the narrow waisted neck encircled by cresting waves, 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.) high, stand, box. Est. HK$4,800,000 - HK$6,500,000 ($622,201 - $842,564) - Price Realized HK$14,100,000 ($1,828,024)

清雍正 青花如意折枝瓜果紋梅瓶

瓶小唇口,短頸,豐肩,斂腹。通體四層青花紋飾,頸飾海水紋,肩繪如意雲頭組成的蓮瓣紋,腹部飾折枝瓜果紋八組,足牆繪如意雲頭組成的蕉葉紋,紋飾間以弦紋相間。

此瓶造型優美,青花呈色鮮艷,構圖疏朗,描繪細膩。尤其肩部和足牆以如意雲頭組成的蓮瓣、蕉葉紋,最為別緻,令人賞心悅目,及具欣賞價值。

此梅瓶為加納爵士夫婦( Sir Harry Garner and Lady Garner)之舊藏。曾於英國列斯特美術館展出;1982年11月8日於香港蘇富比拍賣,拍品127號;2004年11月1日於香港佳士得拍賣,拍品853號,並著錄於《香港佳二十年‧中國瓷器及工藝品精選》124頁。

Provenance : The Collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner
Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 November 1982, lot 127, with the intricate inter-linked ruyi design illustrated on the front cover; and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 November 2004, lot 853

Literature : Christie's 20 Years in Hong Kong, 1986-2006, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 124

Exhibited: On loan at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery
Messrs. Bluett & Sons Ltd., Chinese and Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner, 1973, Catalogue, no. 47

Notes: This meiping is exceptional for its extremely fine painting, small size and delicate potting with thin sides. Compared with other Yongzheng-period vases of this shape, the present example is especially striking for its broad shoulders, so that the top of the body is almost flat, unlike the sloping shape that is more often seen, an example of which is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 57.

The remarkably fine quality of painting on the present lot can be compared with that on the magnificent baluster 'peach' vase, previously from the J. M. Hu and Robert Chang Collections, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 2000, lot 815. The naturalistic depiction of fruits is also similar in style to that found on a Yongzheng-marked baluster vase with six sprays of fruit and flowers in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commercial Press Hong Kong, 2000, pl. 78.

It is unusual that the present vase is decorated with eight fruiting sprays, tightly yet evenly clustered together, where normally, on other Qing dynasty meiping of similar design only six are depicted. A larger Yongzheng vase (33.3 cm. high) with a comparable design of eight sprays is in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics, A New Comprehensive Survey, New York, 1996, pl. 593. Compare also with another large vase (34.9 cm. high) with a Yongzheng mark and more widely spaced design of six fruiting and flowering sprays, included in the joint exhibition by the Nanjing Museum and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Qing Imperial Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1995, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 41; and another (29.5 cm. high), dated to the early 18th century, formerly from the collections of Mrs. Alfred Clark and Edward T. Chow, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 25 November 1980, lot 118.

The present vase compares more closely to several of its Ming prototypes. Its small size is reminiscent of the Yongle meiping vases which measure between 24.7 and 25 cm. in height, such as the examples in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in op. cit., (Part I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commercial Press Hong Kong, 2000, pls. 31 and 32. The composition of eight fruit clusters above a relatively wide lower lappet band, is very closely compared to that on a few large-size Yongle meiping, also illustrated ibid., pls. 29 and 30.

Cf. also other Ming vases of similar design: the Yongle meiping from the Chang Foundation, Taipei, illustrated in Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 80; a pair illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. 1, London, 1986, no. 624; and a Xuande vase from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Blue and White Ware of Ming Dynasty, Book II (Part 1), Hong Kong, 1963, pl. 1.

Provenance: The Collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner
Previously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 November 1982, lot 127, with the intricate inter-linked ruyi design illustrated on the front cover; and again at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 November 2004, lot 853

Literature: Christie's 20 Years in Hong Kong, 1986-2006, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 124

Exhibited: On loan at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery
Messrs. Bluett & Sons Ltd., Chinese and Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner, 1973, Catalogue, no. 47

Notes: This meiping is exceptional for its extremely fine painting, small size and delicate potting with thin sides. Compared with other Yongzheng-period vases of this shape, the present example is especially striking for its broad shoulders, so that the top of the body is almost flat, unlike the sloping shape that is more often seen, an example of which is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 57.

The remarkably fine quality of painting on the present lot can be compared with that on the magnificent baluster 'peach' vase, previously from the J. M. Hu and Robert Chang Collections, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 2000, lot 815. The naturalistic depiction of fruits is also similar in style to that found on a Yongzheng-marked baluster vase with six sprays of fruit and flowers in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Blue and White Porcelain with Underglazed Red (III), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commercial Press Hong Kong, 2000, pl. 78.

It is unusual that the present vase is decorated with eight fruiting sprays, tightly yet evenly clustered together, where normally, on other Qing dynasty meiping of similar design only six are depicted. A larger Yongzheng vase (33.3 cm. high) with a comparable design of eight sprays is in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated by He Li, Chinese Ceramics, A New Comprehensive Survey, New York, 1996, pl. 593. Compare also with another large vase (34.9 cm. high) with a Yongzheng mark and more widely spaced design of six fruiting and flowering sprays, included in the joint exhibition by the Nanjing Museum and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Qing Imperial Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1995, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 41; and another (29.5 cm. high), dated to the early 18th century, formerly from the collections of Mrs. Alfred Clark and Edward T. Chow, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 25 November 1980, lot 118.

The present vase compares more closely to several of its Ming prototypes. Its small size is reminiscent of the Yongle meiping vases which measure between 24.7 and 25 cm. in height, such as the examples in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in op. cit., (Part I), The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commercial Press Hong Kong, 2000, pls. 31 and 32. The composition of eight fruit clusters above a relatively wide lower lappet band, is very closely compared to that on a few large-size Yongle meiping, also illustrated ibid., pls. 29 and 30.

Cf. also other Ming vases of similar design: the Yongle meiping from the Chang Foundation, Taipei, illustrated in Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1990, pl. 80; a pair illustrated by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, vol. 1, London, 1986, no. 624; and a Xuande vase from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Blue and White Ware of Ming Dynasty, Book II (Part 1), Hong Kong, 1963, pl. 1.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 1 December 2009. Hong Kong www.christies.com