An iron-red and gilt decorated powder blue rouleau vase, Kangxi. Estimate £10,000 – 12,000 (€13,000 – 16,000). Photo Bonhams.
The cylindrical body finely enamelled in iron red and black with four large carp swimming amongst seaweed, smaller carp and langoustines, all in gilt, the shoulder with quatrefoil medallions enclosing four of the babao and reserved on a diaper border, the bamboo-trunk neck with formal shou and wan roundels framed by decorative bands above and below. 47cm (18 1/2in) high
Provenance: ex. Mary Burrell (1873-1968) Collection; Mary Burrell was the youngest sister of the famous Glasgow based collector, Sir William Burrell (1861-1958).
Sir William Burrell was a wealthy Glaswegian shipping magnate with a keen interest in art. Over the span of about eighty years he amassed a vast and eclectic collection, seeking out fine craftsmanship in the objects he acquired. The collection, gifted in 1944 to the city of Glasgow, mostly focuses on late medieval and early Renaissance Europe, but it also contains very representative and important examples of Chinese and Islamic art, Ancient Civilisations and French Paintings, including works by Rodin, Degas and Cézanne.
Notes: The combination of powder blue ground with iron red and gilded decoration was one of the most popular amongst the export types produced at Jingdezhen in the 18th century. Wares decorated in this palette were particularly favoured in the Middle East and in Europe, where they would be used as table wares or decorative objects in the residences of the élite.
Powder-blue glazed porcelain was first produced in the late 17th century in Jingdezhen. Its Chinese name, chuiqing, derives from the particular technique required to apply the pigment: the powdered cobalt was blown onto the surface through a bamboo cane whose extremity was covered in a fine gauze.
A similarly decorated vase was sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1752. Another rouleau vase, with differently gilded ground but very similar treatment of the fish and very specifically dated to 1700-1710, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum collection, museum no. C.1347-1910.
Bonhams. ASIAN ART, 25 Feb 2015 10:30 GMT – LONDON, KNIGHTSBRIDGE