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Lot 240 - FAS0624

Buy now for €1,950.00

Lot details

China, 1850-1950 or earlier. Well potted, the shallow sides supported on a short foot and rising to a tall, slightly everted rim. The interior finely decorated with an open book, inscribed with an excerpt from a letter from Han Yu to Liu Zhengfu, partly obscuring a sheathed sword, the handle with a ruyi pommel and tasseled string, before a small tripod censer filled with white ash raised on an openworked stand, all against flying bats amid swirling clouds below a band of key-fret painted in gilt on the celadon-glazed ground, the exterior similarly decorated with bats and clouds, the recessed base with a gilt four-character seal mark Qianlong nianzhi.

Inscriptions: To the interior on the book, ‘Nobody would pay attention to the myriad matters which are seen day and night. It is only until people witness something different that they will look at it together and talk about it. How does writing differ from this? Nobody during the Han Dynasty was incapable of writing, but only Sima Xiangru, Sima Qian, Liu Xiang, and Yang Xiong were the best. However, those who made deep efforts saw their fame spread far. If they all sank and floated with the rest of the world, without setting up their own [style], then they would definitely not have been seen differently at the time, and they would certainly not have been transmitted to later generations either.

Provenance: Australian trade, acquired from a private estate in Melbourne.
Condition: Very good condition with some old wear, expected minuscule firing flaws, rubbing and minute losses to gilt and enamels.

Weight: 97.6 g
Dimensions: 11.2 cm

Han Yu (768-824), commonly known by his posthumous name Han Wengong, was an essayist, Confucian scholar, poet, and government official during the Tang dynasty who significantly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism. The historian William H. Nienhauser described him as "comparable in stature to Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe" for his influence on the Chinese literary tradition. Han Yu stood for strong central authority in politics and orthodoxy in cultural matters. In 796, after failing to secure a position in the civil service at the capital, Yu went into the service of the provincial military governor of Bianzhou until 799, and then of the military governor of Xuzhou. He gained his first central government position in 802 on the recommendation of the military governor. However, he was soon exiled for several possible reasons: for failing to support the heir apparent's faction, his criticism of the misbehavior of the emperor's servants, or his request for reduction of taxes during a famine.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 26 May 2014, lot 653
Price: HKD 200,000 or approx. EUR 29,000 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: An inscribed celadon-ground ‘bamboo’ dish seal mark and period of Qianlong
Expert remark: Compare the related form and similar celadon ground with enamel decorations and inscription. Note the different motif and lack of gilt decoration.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Bonhams London, 29 July 2020, lot 560
Price: GBP 8,188 or approx. EUR 12,500 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A celadon-glazed polychrome-enameled and gilt cylindrical baluster vase, Jingdezhen ‘D’ seven-character mark, mid-20th century
Expert remark: Compare the related celadon glaze with gilt and polychrome enameled decoration. Note the different form, subject, and mark, as well as the size (27 cm).


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