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A very rare blue-glazed pear-shaped vase, yuhuchunping, Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period. Sold for £290,500 (€370,819). Photo: Bonhams.

The pear-shaped body sitting on a short splayed foot tapering sharply up to a waisted neck with a wide everted mouth, all covered in a lustrous deep blue glaze, stopping neatly at the white foot and mouth rims. 36cm (14 1/4in) high

Provenance: a German private collection and thence by descent

Notes: The present vase is particularly rare and few examples from the Yongzheng period appear to have been published. The unctuous sacrificial blue glaze became popular from the early Ming period onward, when the Hongwu emperor decreed that ceramic wares should be used for official sacrifices at the Imperial altars, and blue was the prescribed colour for ritual vessels at the Tiantan, 天壇, the Temple of Heaven.

A similar, but smaller, blue-glazed vase, Yongzheng mark and period, in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Qingdai Danse You Ciqi Mulu, Catalogue of Qing Dynasty Monochrome Wares, Taipei, 1982, no.37. For another example (28.9cm high) see Shimmering Colours: Monochromes of the Yuan to Qing Periods – The Zhuyuetang Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, pl.57. Compare also a smaller (28.7cm high) blue-glazed vase, Yongzheng mark and of the period, illustrated in Ethereal Elegance: Porcelain Vases of the Imperial Qing, The Huaihaitang Collection, Hong Kong, 2007, pp.112-113, pl.15, and from the same collection a Qianlong seal mark and period example, illustrated ibid., pp.114-115, pl.16; for another Qianlong seal mark and period related example see The Tsui Museum of Art: Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, pl.43.

A similar but smaller blue-glazed vase, yuhuchunping, Yongzheng six-character mark and period (29.2cm high), was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong on 29 April 2002, lot 651, and another from the British Rail Pension Fund was sold in the same rooms, on 2 November 1999, lot 585.