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A rare guan-type jar, Seal mark and period of Qianlong


A rare guan-type jar, Seal mark and period of QianlongEstimation 1,500,0002,000,000 HKD. Photo Sotheby’s

well potted with an ovoid body elegantly sweeping up to rounded shoulders and surmounted by a short waisted neck and a flared lipped mouth rim, all supported on a recessed base, flanked on the sides with a pair of loop handles suspending mock rings, applied overall with a thick bluish-green glaze subtly suffused with a fine network of crackles, the footring left unglazed and dressed in a brown wash, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character seal mark; 21 cm., 8 1/4  in.

Notes: With its unassuming shape and fine matrix of crackles running through the thick glaze, this jar is inspired byguanware of the Song dynasty (960-1279). The broad proportions of the shoulder provide a striking contrast with the small loop handles and moulded rings, which has its roots in archaic bronzes. A closely related jar was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 30th November 2011, lot 3319.

The form appears to be an adaptation of Yuan dynasty Jun jars with wide rims, such as the example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum. Hsuan-te Ware I, Taipei, 2000, pl. 104. Broad handled jars were also produced in Jingdezhen from the early Ming dynasty, such as a blue-glazed version, but with a slightly waisted foot and gilt-painted design, and an aubergine-glazed jar, both attributed to the Hongzhi period (1487-1505) period, 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, pls. 67 and 162.

Qianlong mark and period jars of this form are more commonly known without handles; see a celadon-glazed example from the T.Y. Chao collection, included in the exhibition Ch’ing Porcelain from the Wah Kwong Collection, The Art Gallery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1973, cat. no. 16, sold in these rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 3319; and a clair-de-lune jar, from the collections of A.L. Hetherington and H.M. Knight, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Monochrome Porcelain of the Ming and Manchu Dynasties, London, 1948, cat. no. 137.

Sotheby’s. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong | 08 oct. 2014, 03:00 PM