In June this year, Beijing Poly Auction achieved a robust total of over RMB 100m with its dedicated sale ‘A Romance Among Blooming Rose’, selling Chinese imperial ceramics from the Kangxi and Yongzheng periods from the Meiyingtang and Western Collection. Meiyingtang, meaning ‘hall among Rose Beds’, is home to one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive private collections of Chinese ceramics.
Coming to its autumn season, Beijing Poly Auction presents the second part of 'A Romance Among Blooming Rose’ with imperial ceramics spanning Five Dynasties. The sale will be led by a falangcai and famille-rose ‘quail and longevity’ bowl from the Yongzheng period, which carries an estimate of RMB12m-20m.
Thinly potted and translucent, this rounded bowl rests on a slightly tapering foot. It is painted on the outside with an exquisitely rendered design of two quails in front of rock work with narcissus on one side and branches of flowering wintersweet and nandina berries on the other, in enamels of rose pink, white, red, blue, green, yellow and brown. The base inscribed with a Yongzheng reign mark in underglaze blue.
Quail is a popular theme in ceramics made in the Qing dynasty. In Chinese, quail (an chun) carries an auspicious meaning since it is a homophone of an (security, safety and peace). Therefore, the bowl also signifies the Emperor Yongzheng’s hope for a stable society where people living in harmony.
Also made in the Yonzheng period is a flambé-glazed moonflask, 33cm high, carrying an estimate of RMB 2.2m-3.2m. The moonflask is of circular body with a central domed medallion, a cylindrical neck with a raised ring below the flanged rim and two archaizing scroll handles. Rest on a mock foot of oval section with a broad, shallow foot ring. The body glazed in a bright crimson red streaked with purplish blue, the handles in a mushroom colour with blue streaks, the neck in a mottled blue streaked with cream and purple, and a light blue with cream on the inside. The base covered with a glossy yellowish-brown wash and uneven patches of pale celadon-green glaze. The base incised with a four-character Yongzheng seal mark.
Another premium lot of the sale, a pair of famille-rose and blue and white ‘lotus’ with lotus shaped rim vases from the Daoguang period, is estimated at RMB 3.5m-6.5m. Each vase has a tampering ovoid body decorated with four bats alternately suspending a ribbon-tied chime or peach above a lotus spray with scrolling tendrils. Both are surrounded by hibiscus scroll above a band of petal lappets and below bands of ruyi heads and flower sprays on the sloping shoulder. Both necks are similarly decorated between two small blue scroll handles, all below an out-curved mouth rim with shaped edge corresponding to the ruyi decoration. The body is painted in a famille-rose palette reserved on a white ground.
I personally favour a green glazed vase from the Qianlong period. It is estimated at RMB 400,000-600,000. The pear-shaped vase rises from a spreading foot to a slender neck and flaring mouth, the exterior covered in a rich and lustrous green colour. The bottom is inscribed six-character Qianlong reign mark. The vase is of a yuhuchunping, pear-shaped vase form. Some scholars have suggested that one of the uses for pear-shaped vases was as a decanter for wine.
An Extremely Rare and Superbly Painted Falangcai and Famille-Rose ‘Quail and Longevity’ Bowl
Yongzheng Period, Qing Dynasty.
Lot no.: 5030
Diameter: 11.9 cm
Seal mark: Yongzheng Six-Character Mark
- The Bois Family Collection
- The Collection of Captain Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson (who formed The Mount Trust Collection)’
- The Mount Trust Collection
Estimate: RMB 12,000,000 - 20,000,000
A Magnificent Pair of Famille-Rose and Blue and White ‘Lotus’ with Lotus Shaped Rim Vases
Daoguang Period, Qing Dynasty.
Lot no.: 5050
Seal mark: Daoguang Six-Character Mark
Height: 31 cm
- The James H.Kelley Collection
- Christie’s New York, 2009.09.15, Lot 467
- The Meiyintang Collection
Estimate: RMB 3,500,000 - 6,500,000
A Very Rare Flambe-Glazed Moonflask Vase, Baoyupeng
Yongzheng Period, Qing Dynasty.
Lot no.: 5028
Seal mark: Yongzheng Four-Character Mark
Height: 33 cm
Estimate: RMB 2,200,000 - 3,200,000
A Very Rare Green Glazed Vase
Qianlong Period, Qing Dynasty
Lot no.: 5043
Height: 30.3 cm
Seal mark: Qianlong Six-Character Mark
Estimate: RMB 400,000 - 600,000
Auction house: Beijing Poly Auction
Sale: A Romance Among Blooming Roses II – The Meiyintang and Western Collection of Five Dynasties Imperial Ceramics
Auction date: 2017/12/18｜7:00pm