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Rare jardinière en porcelaine flammée, Marque et époque Yongzheng. Estimation 60,00080,000 €. Photo Sotheby’s

quadrilobée, reposant sur quatre petits pieds ruyi, l’extérieur recouvert d’une brillante glaçure framboise parcourue de fines coulures verticales bleu clair et noir, l’intérieur habillé d’une glaçure bleu ciel rehaussée de coulures noires ruisselant le long des arêtes jusqu’au fond creusé de deux trous réservés, marque à quatre caractères sigillaires incisée à la base couverte d’une glaçure café-au-lait – 27,3 cm; 10 3/4  in.

A RARE FLAMBÉ-GLAZED QUATREFOIL JARDINIÈRE, QING DYNASTY, INCISED FOUR-CHARACTER YONGZHENG SEAL MARK AND PERIOD

PROVENANCE: With Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, New York.
Acquired from Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, New York, 8th October 1980.

The present jardinière is striking for its vibrant raspberry-coloured glaze that is suffused with flecks of blue, purple and raspberry and entirely covers the exterior while contrasting with the soft milky blue glaze tinged with a mushroom colour on the interior. The splashes and streaks that characterise this lustrous glaze are described as yao bian or ‘transmutation glaze’ and are said to be inspired by the glazes of similar colours and effects of Jun wares that flourished during the Yuan and early Ming dynasties, compare Rose Kerr, Chinese Ceramics. Porcelains of the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911, London, 2001, p 75, and Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 3, pt. II, London, 2006, p. 456.

With its lobed body and wide everted rim, the shape of this vessel may also have been inspired by a very specific vessel design associated with Jun wares of the Yuan dynasty. Bulb bowls also known as ‘narcissus’ bowls are known to have been made in a number of foliate shapes with lobed sides and wide everted rims with beaded borders, compare, for example, an example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum. Chun Ware, Taipei, 1999, pl. 37; and a second bulb bowl in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty, (I), Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 31.

The revival of Jun ware-inspired glazes under the Yongzheng emperor may be attributed to a number of fine examples held in the Imperial collections. While the shape of the present piece appears to be unique, a number of flambe-glazed vases bearing an incised four-character Yongzheng seal mark are known, including a water chestnut-shaped washer formerly in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, vol. 37: Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 178. For other examples see ibid., pls. 177, 179 and 180.

Sotheby’s. Arts d’Asie. Paris | 11 déc. 2014, 10:30 AM