Beijing Poly Auction presented a sequel to its well-received sale A Romance Among Blooming Rose, selling imperial ceramics from the Meiyintang and Western collection. The Meiyingtang collection, widely hailed as home to one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive private collections of Chinese ceramics, has once again proven its charm to ceramic collectors. 50 lots of ceramic works spanning five periods in the Qing dynasty were all sold, achieving another white-glove sale of this series with a sale total of RMB 130m.
The leading lot of the sale was a falangcai and famille-rose ‘quail and longevity’ bowl from the Yongzheng period, carrying 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. Offered an opening bid of RMB 10m, the bowl was hammered down for RMB 40m. It fetched RMB 46m and became the most expensive lot at the sale.
Came as a surprise to many, the second top of the sale was a claire-de-lune willow-leaf vase from the Kangxi period, Qing dynasty. It was hammered down for RMB 12m against its low estimate RMB 1.6m and sold for RMB 13.8m, eight times its pre-sale estimate.
The amphora was potted with a slender tapering body rising to high shoulders and a tall slender neck and everted mouth, covered overall in a rich, glossy, soft pale-blue glaze. The glaze neatly stopped above the foot, inscribed on the base with a six-character reign mark in underglaze blue.
One of the highlights of the sale, a pair of famille-rose and blue and white ‘lotus’ with lotus shaped rim vases from the Daoguang period, was hammered down for RMB 6.8m, higher than its estimate of RMB 3.5m-6.5m. It was sold for RMB 7.82m with buyer’s premium.
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.
Top three lots
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
Hammer price: RMB 40,000,000
Price realized: RMB 46,000,000
A Very Rare Claire-De-Lune Willow-Leaf Vase
Kangxi Period, Qing Dynasty.
Lot no.: 5016
Seal mark: Kangxi Six-character Mark
- Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 1999.11.1, Lot 340
Estimate: RMB 1,600,000 - 2,500,000
Hammer price: 12,000,000
Price realized: RMB 13,800,000
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
Hammer price: RMB 6,800,000
Price realized: RMB 7,820,000
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
Sale total: RMB 130,323,750
Lot offered: 50
Sell-through rate: 100%
Average price per lot: RMB 2,606,475
(All prices realized have included buyer’s premium unless otherwise specified)