An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (2)

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Lot 121
An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period

Sold for HK$ 6,180,000 (US$ 793,822) inc. premium
An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period
Each finely potted with gently flared sides rising from a short tapered foot, the exterior exquisitely decorated with four radiating Ming-style baoxiang blossoms borne on meandering foliate scrolls, all painted in soft underglaze-blue outline, framing the delicate bright translucent iron-red, yellow, aubergine and light coral-red enamels, all within double underglaze-blue line borders, the interior plain, the base inscribed in underglaze-blue with a six-character kaishu reign mark within double squares.
Each 7.4cm (2 7/8in) diam. (2).

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 鬥彩纏枝寶相花杯一對 青花「大清雍正年製」楷書款

    Provenance:
    A distinguished Asian private collection

    來源:
    重要亞洲私人收藏

    The present pair of doucai 'baoxiang' cups is exceedingly rare and only one other example (which has not been published) in the Palace Museum, Beijing, appears to be recorded, museum no.GUXIN90595.

    The design of the cups follows similar ones produced during the celebrated reign of the Chenghua emperor, known for its strict standards requiring perfection of form and execution of design. The Yongzheng emperor, though a Manchu, was also a strong proponent of traditional Confucian thinking in Han Chinese culture, seeking to achieve cultural continuity, reflected in him continuing the project of compiling a history of the previous Ming dynasty to demonstrate the orthodoxy of Qing rule. His fascination with antiquity led him to repeatedly send antiques from the Palace to the kilns to serve as standards for quality, models for designs and as inspiration for innovation; see Harmony and Integrity: The Yongzheng Emperor and His Times, Taipei, 2009, p.159; and E.S.Rawski and J.Rawson, eds., China: The Three Emperors 1662 - 1795, London, 2005, p.245.

    According to Tao Cheng Jishi Beiji, 'Commemorative Stele on Ceramic Production', which was composed by Tang Ying (1682-1756), the renowned supervisor of the Imperial porcelain kilns, the Yongzheng emperor commissioned wucai cups after the type produced during the Chenghua period, of which the doucai style was originally probably referred to as wucai; see Jiang Jianxin, 'Revised Interpretation of Records on the Commemorative Stele on Ceramic Production by Tang Ying', in Jingdezhen Taoci Kaogu Yanjiu, The Institute of Ceramic Archaeology of Jingdezhen City, Beijing, 2013, pp.236-248.

    Cups of similar design to the present lot were made during the Chenghua reign, with three examples unearthed from Zhushan, Jingdezhen. See a doucai baoxiang cup, Chenghua six-character mark within a double square and of the period, illustrated in A Legacy of Chenghua, Hong Kong, 1993, no.C95; and two further similar blue and white baoxiang cups, Chenghua six-character marks within double squares and of the period, missing their enamels, illustrated in Special Exhibition of Ch'eng-hua Porcelain Ware, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2003, nos.129 and 130.

    It is therefore very likely that the present pair of cups belong to a very rare small group of doucai cups commissioned by the Yongzheng emperor after the Chenghua period prototypes.

    Compare a related pair of Ming-style doucai 'lingzhi' cups, Yongzheng six-character marks and period, also made after a Chenghua period prototype, which was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1 June 2011, lot 3523.

    杯敞口,斜壁,深腹,腹下漸斂,圈足。杯口沿下青花飾雙弦紋,腹壁以鬥彩飾不同顏色寶相花四朵,花形碩大,以青花勾勒輪廓,再分別以黃、紫、礬紅、珊瑚紅四色釉上彩填色,間以纏枝藤,風格清新秀麗,頗有成窯之風。圈足內青花書「大清雍正年製」六字楷書雙方框款。

    此式雍正仿成化寶相花杯傳世品中極為少見,完全相同者,目前僅見北京故宮博物院院藏一例,由1958年入藏但未曾有著錄,博物館編號:故新90595。

    自古有「明看成化,清看雍正」之說,此對寶相花杯形制、紋飾、釉彩完全仿效同式之成化鬥彩寶相花杯。成窯御用瓷器以造型玲瓏秀奇、胎體細潤晶瑩、材料精選純正、色調柔和寧靜、繪畫淡雅幽婉而著稱。步入清代盛世的雍正一朝,御用瓷的燒製受到雍正帝重漢尊儒、崇尚佛道思想的影響,其瓷質瑩潔、工藝精細、器形雋秀、典雅優美,這種嚴肅認真的製瓷風氣為隨後的乾隆時期所不及。見《雍正:清世宗文物大展》,台北,2009年,頁159,以及E.S.Rawski和J.Rawson編,《China: The Three Emperors 1662 - 1795》,倫敦,2005年,頁245。

    根據唐英(1682-1756)《陶成紀事碑》之記載,雍正御窯廠曾燒造「仿成化五彩器皿」,見江建新,《唐英〈陶成紀事碑記〉及其出土殘碑遺文校釋》,刊登於《景德鎮陶瓷考古研究》,景德鎮陶瓷考古研究所,北京,2013年,頁236-248,而《清宮造辦處各作成做活計清檔》中所指雍正五彩亦是泛指和統稱,對如今定義之五彩、粉彩、鬥彩等,並無嚴格區分,因此此對寶相花杯極有可能屬於被記載之一。

    景德鎮珠山御器廠窯址出土的成化器中,可見此對寶相花杯之原型,見《成窯遺珍:景德鎮珠山出土成化官窯瓷器》,香港,1993年,編號C95;相同紋飾之例,另見台北故宮博物院藏兩隻成化窯青花纏枝寶相花杯,著錄於《成化瓷器特展圖錄》,國立故宮博物院,台北,2003年,編號129及130。

    香港佳士得曾售出一件清雍正鬥彩纏枝寶相花瓶,其紋飾和釉彩與本器類似,亦為仿效成窯名品而燒製,2011年6月1日,拍品3523。
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An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (2)
An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (2)
An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (2)
An exceedingly rare pair of Imperial Ming-style doucai 'baoxiang' cups Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period (2)
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