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Lot details

Opinion: This splendid little ‘hat stand’, the perfect receptacle for the finest and smallest brushes, belongs to a rare group of miniature cloisonné scholar’s objects, examples of which only seldomly come up for auction. However, the present lot even stands out from this illustrious group, with its unusually fine enameling, naturalistic subject matter, and the extremely rare hat stand form, including the hallmark apertures.

China, 1796-1820. Of cylindrical form, the turquoise ground finely decorated in bright enamels and gilt wire with butterflies and crickets amid leafy sprays of blossoming peony, chrysanthemum, plum, and hibiscus, all framed by a ruyi-head band below the rim and a leafy lappet border above the foot, the body further pierced with quatrefoil apertures. The interior of turquoise enamel. The rim, foot, and base of gilt bronze.

Provenance: From a noted English private collection, acquired in the 1970s, and thence by descent to the last owner.
Excellent condition with minor old wear and manufacturing irregularities.

Weight: 50.8 g
Dimensions: Height 5.8 cm

Hat stands made from porcelain first appeared at the beginning of the Jiaqing reign (1796-1820) and were originally conceived as unusually tall, cylindrical vessels only. But commencing later in the Jiaqing period, and through to Daoguang and Tongzhi, these tall vessels were equipped with a number of distinct apertures cut into the body, promoting a flow of air and thus assisting in the removal of odors from the hat, which was placed on top of the vessel. From Guangxu (1875-1908) onwards the apertures slowly disappeared again.

The decoration of butterflies and various flowers offers opportunities for symbolic and auspicious meaning. For example, the combination of a butterfly and plum blossom signifies a quest for blissful love. In Daoism, butterflies represented the freedom of the soul.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Christie’s Hong Kong, 1 June 2011, lot 3874
Price: HKD 150,000 or approx. EUR 24,500 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A rare miniature cloisonne enamel brushrest, Qianlong period
Expert remark: Note the small size (3.5 cm)

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1423
Price: HKD 144,000 or approx. EUR 25,500 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: A rare pair of miniature cloisonne enamel scroll weights, Qing dynasty, 18th century
Expert remark: Note the small size (5.7 cm)






拍賣:香港佳士得,2011年6月1日,lot 3874
價格:HKD 150,000(相當於今日EUR 24,500
專家評論:請注意尺寸非常小 (3.5厘米) 。

拍賣:香港佳士得,2007年5月29日,lot 1423
價格:HKD 144,000(相當於今日EUR 25,500
專家評論:請注意尺寸非常小 (5.7厘米)。


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