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Lot 15 (TWO-DAY AUCTION - Fine Chinese Art / 中國藝術集珍 / Buddhism & Hinduism, 5th March 2021)

AN IMPERIAL ‘REALGAR’ GLASS MALLET VASE, QIANLONG MARK AND PERIOD
乾隆款與年代御制雄黃色料馬蹄式瓶

China, 1735-1796. Swirled together of brilliant, fiery orange and yellow-ochre opaque glass to resemble the realgar mineral, the body of beehive-domed form rising to a slender cylindrical neck with a straight rim. The recessed foot rim with a wheel-cut four-character Qianlong reign mark enclosed within a double square.

Provenance: An old estate in Boston, Massachusetts. A notable US private collection, acquired from the above.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, two minuscule chips around the foot rim.

Weight: 341.1 g
Dimensions: Height 15.6 cm

The naturalistic pattern achieved on realgar glass makes vessels of this type attractive and unique. Hugh Moss and Gerard Tsang in Arts from the Scholar's Studio, op. cit., p. 126, note that the “swirling patterns visible at the surface of this vessel are full of possibilities for the imaginative mind. It may read as a landscape, drifting incense smoke or a variety of strange living creatures, but it also represents the endlessly changing patterns of energy from which all phenomena emanate in the Chinese view, particularly expressed by Daoism. To the Daoist scholar it would be a work of art of subtle complexity and endless fascination, to be enjoyed like incense smoke as a meditative aid.”

Realgar (xiong huang), found in the southern provinces of China, was believed to contain the essence of gold and, possibly for this reason, became a source of fascination despite its poisonous qualities. It is believed that it was mixed in drugs used by Daoists in their quest for the elixir of immortality. It is the Daoist alchemy that made realgar popular to the extent that despite the material's highly toxic nature and its soft crumbly texture, which does not lend itself to the artisans' tools without great difficulties, realgar was used for the carving of Daoist figures. For example, a realgar sculpture of the Immortal He Xian Gu, in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in R. Soame Jenyns, Chinese Art, The Minor Arts, II, London, 1965, pl. 200.

The attractiveness of realgar inspired copies to be made in glass such as the present vase. Richard John Lynn in 'Technical aspects and Connoisseurship of Snuff Bottles: Late Traditional Chinese Sources', JICSBS, Summer, 1995, p. 8, mentions Zhou Jixu, a late Qing connoisseur, who believed that realgar glass was among the earliest types of glass made at the Qing Imperial Glassworks. For this reason, the dating of the present vase can probably be narrowed to ca. 1740-1750.

Qianlong mallet form glass vases were inspired by Yongzheng period prototypes. See a blue glass vase published in Zhongguo jin yin boli falang qi quanji, vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 154. For the origins of the mallet form, see a Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) celadon vase illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 207, and another published in Longquan Celadon of China, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 90.

Literature comparisons: A similar vase of smaller size, with its realgar-colored surface decorated with irregular red and yellow veins, as seen on the present vase, bearing a four-character Qianlong reign mark on the base, from the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, is illustrated in Luster of Autumn Water, Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshop, Beijing, 2005, pl. 25, and also in Zhongguo jin yin boli falang qi quanji, vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 216. For further examples of realgar glass vessels see a hexafoil vase, from the Sloane Collection in Jenyns, op.cit., pl. 81, together with a snuff bottle, pl. 201f. A bottle attributed to the Palace Workshop, the body suffused with patches of bright red and yellow, is illustrated in Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 5. Also compare with a closely related glass dish, showing near-identical design of the lip, color of the glass body and incision of the mark, at e-yaji.com, lot 1819.

Auction result comparison: A closely related ‘realgar’ glass mallet vase with Qianlong mark and of the period was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection on 8 October 2009, lot 1802, for HKD 2,660,000.

乾隆款與年代御制雄黃色料馬蹄式瓶
中國,1735-1796。花瓶色澤明亮,艷麗的橙色和黃色不透明料間雜旋轉而成,猶如雄黃,蜂巢狀的主體,頸部呈細長圓柱形,邊緣筆直。圈足内凹,雙方框四字乾隆款。

來源:波斯頓一個老遺產。美國貴族私人收藏,購於上述遺產。
品相:狀況極好,輕微磨損,圈足上兩処細微磕碰。

重量:341.1 克
尺寸:高15.6 厘米

乾隆時期的料器瓶受雍正時期風格影響。《中國金銀玻璃琺琅器全集》第四冊(石家莊,2004年,圖154)中的藍色料器瓶。馬蹄形瓶原可見Sekai toji zenshu第十二冊(東京, 1977, 圖 207)中記載的北宋 (960-1127) 青瓷瓶和另一件記載于《中國龍泉青瓷》(香港,1998,圖 90)。

文獻比較:一件相似馬蹄瓶,尺寸稍小,雄黃色表面呈不規則紅黃色經絡紋,底足亦有乾隆四字款,來自清王室收藏,仍留在北京,記載于Luster of Autumn Water. Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshop, Beijing, 2005, 圖 25;在《中國金銀玻璃琺琅器全集》第四冊(石家莊,2004年,圖216)。其他雄黃料器如一個六角玻璃瓶,來自Sloane Collection in Jenyns, op.cit., 圖81, 與一個鼻烟壺,圖201f. 一個記爲御制鼻烟壺,表面紅黃色塊,記載在Chinese Snuff Bottles from the burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, Hong Kong, 1989, 圖 5。

拍賣結果比較:一件相近的乾隆款與年代的雄黃色馬蹄瓶,售于香港蘇富比Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection 拍場,2009年10月8日,lot 1802,售價HKD 2,660,000。

Starting price
€2,500
Estimate
€5,000
 

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China, 1735-1796. Swirled together of brilliant, fiery orange and yellow-ochre opaque glass to resemble the realgar mineral, the body of beehive-domed form rising to a slender cylindrical neck with a straight rim. The recessed foot rim with a wheel-cut four-character Qianlong reign mark enclosed within a double square.

Provenance: An old estate in Boston, Massachusetts. A notable US private collection, acquired from the above.
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, two minuscule chips around the foot rim.

Weight: 341.1 g
Dimensions: Height 15.6 cm

The naturalistic pattern achieved on realgar glass makes vessels of this type attractive and unique. Hugh Moss and Gerard Tsang in Arts from the Scholar's Studio, op. cit., p. 126, note that the “swirling patterns visible at the surface of this vessel are full of possibilities for the imaginative mind. It may read as a landscape, drifting incense smoke or a variety of strange living creatures, but it also represents the endlessly changing patterns of energy from which all phenomena emanate in the Chinese view, particularly expressed by Daoism. To the Daoist scholar it would be a work of art of subtle complexity and endless fascination, to be enjoyed like incense smoke as a meditative aid.”

Realgar (xiong huang), found in the southern provinces of China, was believed to contain the essence of gold and, possibly for this reason, became a source of fascination despite its poisonous qualities. It is believed that it was mixed in drugs used by Daoists in their quest for the elixir of immortality. It is the Daoist alchemy that made realgar popular to the extent that despite the material's highly toxic nature and its soft crumbly texture, which does not lend itself to the artisans' tools without great difficulties, realgar was used for the carving of Daoist figures. For example, a realgar sculpture of the Immortal He Xian Gu, in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in R. Soame Jenyns, Chinese Art, The Minor Arts, II, London, 1965, pl. 200.

The attractiveness of realgar inspired copies to be made in glass such as the present vase. Richard John Lynn in 'Technical aspects and Connoisseurship of Snuff Bottles: Late Traditional Chinese Sources', JICSBS, Summer, 1995, p. 8, mentions Zhou Jixu, a late Qing connoisseur, who believed that realgar glass was among the earliest types of glass made at the Qing Imperial Glassworks. For this reason, the dating of the present vase can probably be narrowed to ca. 1740-1750.

Qianlong mallet form glass vases were inspired by Yongzheng period prototypes. See a blue glass vase published in Zhongguo jin yin boli falang qi quanji, vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 154. For the origins of the mallet form, see a Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) celadon vase illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 207, and another published in Longquan Celadon of China, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 90.

Literature comparisons: A similar vase of smaller size, with its realgar-colored surface decorated with irregular red and yellow veins, as seen on the present vase, bearing a four-character Qianlong reign mark on the base, from the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, is illustrated in Luster of Autumn Water, Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshop, Beijing, 2005, pl. 25, and also in Zhongguo jin yin boli falang qi quanji, vol. 4, Shijiazhuang, 2004, pl. 216. For further examples of realgar glass vessels see a hexafoil vase, from the Sloane Collection in Jenyns, op.cit., pl. 81, together with a snuff bottle, pl. 201f. A bottle attributed to the Palace Workshop, the body suffused with patches of bright red and yellow, is illustrated in Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 5. Also compare with a closely related glass dish, showing near-identical design of the lip, color of the glass body and incision of the mark, at e-yaji.com, lot 1819.

Auction result comparison: A closely related ‘realgar’ glass mallet vase with Qianlong mark and of the period was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection on 8 October 2009, lot 1802, for HKD 2,660,000.

乾隆款與年代御制雄黃色料馬蹄式瓶
中國,1735-1796。花瓶色澤明亮,艷麗的橙色和黃色不透明料間雜旋轉而成,猶如雄黃,蜂巢狀的主體,頸部呈細長圓柱形,邊緣筆直。圈足内凹,雙方框四字乾隆款。

來源:波斯頓一個老遺產。美國貴族私人收藏,購於上述遺產。
品相:狀況極好,輕微磨損,圈足上兩処細微磕碰。

重量:341.1 克
尺寸:高15.6 厘米

乾隆時期的料器瓶受雍正時期風格影響。《中國金銀玻璃琺琅器全集》第四冊(石家莊,2004年,圖154)中的藍色料器瓶。馬蹄形瓶原可見Sekai toji zenshu第十二冊(東京, 1977, 圖 207)中記載的北宋 (960-1127) 青瓷瓶和另一件記載于《中國龍泉青瓷》(香港,1998,圖 90)。

文獻比較:一件相似馬蹄瓶,尺寸稍小,雄黃色表面呈不規則紅黃色經絡紋,底足亦有乾隆四字款,來自清王室收藏,仍留在北京,記載于Luster of Autumn Water. Glass of the Qing Imperial Workshop, Beijing, 2005, 圖 25;在《中國金銀玻璃琺琅器全集》第四冊(石家莊,2004年,圖216)。其他雄黃料器如一個六角玻璃瓶,來自Sloane Collection in Jenyns, op.cit., 圖81, 與一個鼻烟壺,圖201f. 一個記爲御制鼻烟壺,表面紅黃色塊,記載在Chinese Snuff Bottles from the burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, Hong Kong, 1989, 圖 5。

拍賣結果比較:一件相近的乾隆款與年代的雄黃色馬蹄瓶,售于香港蘇富比Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection 拍場,2009年10月8日,lot 1802,售價HKD 2,660,000。

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Auction: TWO-DAY AUCTION - Fine Chinese Art / 中國藝術集珍 / Buddhism & Hinduism, 5th March 2021

Our two-day premium auction features 782 stunning lots, many of museum quality, with 152 named provenances ranging from museum deaccessions to notable collectors, and from the intriguing to the illustrious. Among these are the last emperor of Vietnam, the personal physician of Puyi, the Commander of the German Marine for East Asia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, the Rockefeller and Rothschild families, Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini, the granddaughter of the Coca-Cola founder, noted artists Lindy Guinness, Lü Xiaguang and Zhou Shengli as well as historic dealerships Bluett, Spink, Rare Art, Vermeer & Griggs, Roger Keverne, Nicholas Grindley, Eileen Kershaw, Myrna Myers, Dr. Otto Burchard, only to name very few. On the first day of the auction, 409 lots will be offered, including Works of Art; Hardstones, Jades and Seals; Ceramics and Porcelain; and Snuff Bottles. The second day will see the remaining 373 lots fall under the hammer, including Bronzes and Sculptures; Organic Material and Furniture; Thangkas, Textiles and Paintings; and, last but not least, Buddhism and Hinduism.  

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