CHINA - Late Qing. Imperial Chinese porcelain bottle vase (official ware), decorated in blue & white, the globular body painted in the central horizontal register with six different flower heads on scrolled leafy branches including a lotus, a peony, a chrysanthemum and a camellia above a frieze of lotus petals and scrolls at the foot, on a double line. The shoulder features a ruyi frieze between two lower bulges and an upper bulge, followed by a horizontal frieze of flowers identical to that on the body, linked by a twisted branch of foliage above a bulge. The long, flared neck is decorated with a band of gracci (keyfret), plantain leaves, ruyi heads and waves.
Guangxu mark and period, inscribed below the base Da Qing Guangxu nianzhi
H. 38.8 cm
A similar example appears in the inventory of the Beijing Gugong and is illustrated in "The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty", Shanghai, 2003, p. 233 as well as in Liu Liang-yu "Marchandises officielles et populaires Ch'ing" 1991 n° 5 p. 255
Another example is on display at the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, and published in "Zhongguo taoci quanji", vol. 15, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 2 ;
Four similar vases are illustrated in Regina Krahl, "Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum", vol. III, London, 1986, pl. 2564, one with an elaborate 19th-century Ottoman gilded metal lid.
One vase is illustrated in S. Marchant&Son's exhibition catalog "Recent acquisitions 2003" p. 28.29
Another vase bearing the Guangxu mark was sold at SHK on Nov. 13, 1990 under lot 253, and another of the same mark currently in the National Palace Museum is illustrated by van Oort in "Chinese Porcelain of the 19th& 20th Century", Tijdstroom, 1977, pl. 47.
Good condition, nothing to report under UV light, very small scratches on the body due to age. - Overall good condition under black light, very small scratches on the belly due to age ware.
This Ming-inspired vase has been part of imperial commissions (official ware) since Qianlong, and each subsequent reign commissioned a number of them. These official pieces used to repeat the motif of the previous reign, with the name of the reigning king inscribed under the base. However, small differences were introduced with each subsequent reign.
Under Guangxu, the foot is slender, high and straight, slightly inwardly curving and, as under Qianlong, rounded with a hint of oxide at the end of the cover, but sometimes slightly silted on the inside. The paste is fine and white, and the body is mounted with a finely refined Kaolin free of impurities. The blue pigment comes from Yunnan and produces a fine, rich color of great clarity with just a hint of violet.